Salvifici Doloris. Pope St John Paul II’s apostolic letter on the salvific meaning of suffering, which JPII gave us on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February. Pope John Paul II outlined the importance and role of suffering and evil and how love is borne out of it in Salvifici Doloris, a document that responds to the. Having familiarized ourselves with the person of John Paul II, his thinking and writings, this apostolic letter invites women to approach the question of why God .

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Two other men passed along the same road; one was a priest and the other a Levite, but each of them ” saw him and passed by on the other side”.

In this Body, Christ wishes to be united with every man, and he is united in a particular way to those who suffer. The Apostle speaks of such joy in his Letter to the Colossians: This world of suffering, divided into many, very many subjects, exists as it were “in dispersion”.

Looking at all of this, we can say that the parable of the Samaritan of the Gospel has become one of the essential components of moral culture and universally human civilization. In the Book of Job the question has found its most vivid expression. Saint Paul speaks of such joy in the Letter to the Colossians: Man suffers and wonders why, and often suffers more deeply when he cannot find a satisfactory answer.

This puts into relief the divine-human nature of the Church. The God of Revelation is the Lawgiver and Judge to a degree that no temporal authority can see. Christ goes towards his Passion and death with full awareness of the mission that he has to fulfil precisely in this way. And when he left, he solicitously entrusted the suffering man to the care of the innkeeper, promising to meet the necessary expenses.

It can be said that the above considerations now brings us directly to Gethsemane and Golgotha, where the Song of the Suffering Servant, contained in the Book of Isaiah, was fulfilled. This is love for man, love for the “world”: The Gospel of suffering is being written unceasingly, and unceasingly it speaks with the words of dollris strange paradox: Nevertheless, the Good Samaritan of Christ’s parable does not stop at sympathy and compassion salvofici.

In his suffering, sins are cancelled out precisely because he alone as the only-begotten Son could take them upon himself, accept them with that love for the Father which overcomes the evil of every sin; in a certain sense he annihilates this evil in the spiritual space of the relationship between God and humanity, and fills this space with good. This also explains the reccomendation in the First Letter of Peter: Every man has his own participation in the Redemption.


They become for him a stimulus to actions which aim to bring help to the injured man. Corresponding to the moral evil of sin is the punishment, which guarantees the moral order in the same transcendent sense in which this order is laid down by the will of the Creator and Supreme Lawgiver.

This is the light of the Gospel, that is, of the Good News. To this grace many saints, such as Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Ignatius of Loyola and others, owe their profound conversion. Given then that throughout his earthly life man walks in one way or another on the path of suffering, the Church at all times – and perhaps especially during the Holy Year of the Redemption – should meet man on this very road.

It not only consumes man interiorly, but seems to make him a burden to others. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors”.

This is in fact that multiple and subjectively differentiated “activity” of pain, sadness, disappointment, discouragement or even despair, according to the intensity of the suffering subject and his or her specific sensitivity.

Good, evil and suffering

In the measure to which man becomes a participant in the sufferings of Christ – in whatever part of the world and at whatever time in history — he completes in his own way the suffering through which Christ has worked the Redemption of the world.

Independently of this fact, it is a universal theme that accompanies man at every point on earth: We had all gone astray like sheep each following his own way; the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. The Suffering Servant—and this in its turn is essential for an analysis of Christ’s Passion— takes on himself those sufferings which were spoken of, in a totally voluntary way: For evil remains bound to sin and death.

The fact that Christ retains the wounds of the crucifixion even on His resurrected body is a testimony to suffering being more that an encounter with evil. The world of human suffering calls tirelessly, so to speak, for another world: But at the same time, in the mystery of the Church as his Body, Dolloris has in a sense opened his own redemptive suffering to all human suffering.

Suffering as punishment such as Israel endured when it strayed from her covenant with God had an educational value as well. The Cross of Christ has become a source from which flow rivers of living water The Gospel of suffering is being written unceasingly, and it speaks unceasingly with the words of this strange paradox: You have tribulations in the world, but have confidence: And the more the Church feels the need to have recourse to the value of human sufferings for the salvation of the world.


In the Body of Christ, which is ceaselessly born of the Cross of the Redeemer, it is precisely suffering permeated by the spirit of Christ’s sacrifice that is the irreplaceable mediator and author of the good things which are indispensable for the world’s salvation. The Suffering Servant — and this in its turn is essential for an analysis of the Passion of Christ — takes on himself those sufferings which have been spoken of, in a totally voluntary way: The Dolorie became, first of all, the manifestation of glory, which corresponds to Christ’s being lifted up through the Cross.

To sin is to break the divine Law, it is to transgress against the doloriis Law-giver, God; it is an objective necessity that a just Law-giver should punish evil and reward good. On various occasions Christ also said that his disciples and confessors would meet with much persecution, something which—as we know—happened not only in the first centuries of the Church’s life under the Roman Empire, but also came true in various historical periods and in other parts of the world, and still does even in our own time.

Protestant reflections on Salvifici doloris. – PubMed – NCBI

To them, the Donegal family, the passengers waiting in the check-in line at the Brussels airport, those salifici enough to still be stuck in Syria, were all in the wrong place at the wrong time. Indeed, suffering cannot be transformed and changed by a grace from outside, but from within.

We desire to live this Year of the Redemption in close union with all those who suffer. Precisely by means of his Cross swlvifici must strike at the roots of evil, planted in the history of man and in human souls. Not of course completely for this we would have to penetrate the divine-human mystery of the subjectbut at least they help us to understand that difference and at the same time the similarity which exists between every possible form of human suffering and the suffering of the God-man.

Christ’s words confirm with xalvifici simplicity this human truth of suffering, to its very depths: