Making sense of suffering in times of trouble
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/21/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Suffering is a given of the human condition. Serious illness, the loss of friends and loved ones, poverty and psychological trauma cuts across all social and nationalities across the world. Dileeni Abraham, an Adjunct Lecturer and Counselor at Colombo Theological Seminary in Sri Lanka says that the message of Jesus Christ in the words of Scripture is an essential component in understanding and healing from suffering.
Dileeni Abraham, an Adjunct Lecturer and Counselor at Colombo Theological Seminary in Sri Lanka says that the message of Jesus Christ in the words of Scripture is an essential component in understanding and healing from suffering.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As Christians, how do we make sense of suffering in light of Scripture? What role does the Bible play in the healing process?
According to Abraham, there is no other religion that contains such a robust context for understanding this complex problem.
"I think that in a country like Sri Lanka, which is multi-religious . Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, there's no other religion that I can understand, I am not a theologian, has any other real meaning for suffering, or any real way to make sense of suffering," Abraham says.
"We can make sense of suffering because we have a God who suffered. And when you marry the scriptures, with what people are experiencing, psychologically, as well, I think it makes sense. It brings a feeling . That's what I think."
Why is it important to use both mental health care principles and biblical principles in trauma healing?
"It is a winning combination, because we are whole people. You can't box us out and say, 'this is the psychological part of me, so I will do psychological work on this, and everything will be fine,' and maybe the pastor can come in and work with the spiritual. And I think that ultimately, hope and making sense of suffering . its biblical truth. It's Jesus and how he suffered. All of that. So that when you combine the two together, and they come together, there is a holistic way for people to heal," she adds.
Abraham is a staunch advocate of the Trauma Healing Institute offered by the American Bible Society. "One lady shared how her heart had grown cold towards God after experiencing two tragic deaths in her family over the past eight years. After the seminar where the first topic addressed the issue of where is God when we are suffering, she testified that she is so thankful she came and she has begun her journey back into God's arms."
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