NCR: We All Suffer, but Not All Suffering is the Same

By Carrie Gress, Ph.D.

Recently, on EWTN’s Franciscan University Presents, Regis Martin and Scott Hahn said lovely things about an analysis on suffering that I’d written in my book Nudging Conversions. “Where did you steal that?“ Martin asked, with a smile on his face. 

Surprised by his question, I gave credit for the idea to the Holy Spirit. It was a framework I’d come to see suffering through over many years and sort of thought it was obvious. But as I learned from Martin and Hahn that day, it isn’t as obvious as I thought.

So, what is this vision of suffering? It basically divides all kinds of suffering into three categories: 1) suffering from self, 2) suffering for self, and 3) suffering for others. These three types of suffering also happen to map on to our understanding of hell, purgatory, and heaven.

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There are three types of suffering: Suffering from self, suffering for self, and suffering for others.

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Posted on September 12, 2017 .