Sometimes pain passes quickly and small losses are easily absorbed. But suffering often goes on and on, and for people of faith, the resulting crisis can be deeper and more destructive than the loss itself. We look for ways to comfort those who are hurting. But sometimes, in spite of our good intentions, the clichés and simplistic theology we offer only add to the pain and misery.
In When Suffering Persists Frederick W. Schmidt presents a pastoral exploration of ways to understand suffering theologically, offering an approach that ministers to both mind and spirit. He questions the value of our usual comforting words and examines the pat explanations we give one another. He provides instead a theology that takes seriously the devastating character of suffering, allowing for real help to those who continue in pain. Excellent for parish study.
"Now more than ever—since the tragedy of terrorist attacks—we need this book to help us deal with the mystery of suffering in our lives."
—Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking
"At once pastoral, personal, and theological, this timely and sensitive book refuses to domesticate the mystery of our suffering with conventional explanations that blame either God or the victim, and instead affirms a relational God who is present with us in our suffering."
—Marcus Borg, author of Reading the Bible Again for the First Time and Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time