Remembrance Sunday, the Great War, and Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter on Human Suffering.
Our great war dead are the 40 Martyrs of England & Wales and therefore it can be difficult for Catholics to conceptualise how remembrance Sunday can be placed in a Catholic context. The teachings of the Church lead us to Salvifici Deloris. This is Pope John Paul's Apostolic Letter on the Meaning of Human Suffering.
Below is just a taster of Salvifici Delores and what we can learn from the suffering of those not only in the Great war, but also in our own lives.
1. Man in his sufferings remains an intangible mystery.
[This is something that the culture will not accept because modern society will not tolerate 'mystery', and the answers that can be gleaned from suffering involve inward soul searching which will provide answers that people do not want to acknowledge.]
2. Man suffers when he experiences any kind of evil.
3. Suffering must serve for conversion, that is, for the rebuilding of the goodness in the subject (i.e. you). This goodness is further strengthened by repentance.
4. Love is the ultimate source of the meaning of suffering which will always remain a mystery. However, Christ calls us to search for answers as to the 'why?' of suffering.
5. Suffering is conquered by love and God gives his son to the World to free man from evil (and suffering).
6. Evil has a grip on 'why humans do not understand suffering' [but whilst human do everything to avoid suffering they can not get a grip on how to overcome suffering & evil.]
7. Salvation gives us liberation from evil but unless man concentrates on the source of suffering, man will continue to concentrate 'on the suffering', and not 'on his salvation'. [Satan wants us to concentrate on our suffering to move us away from our salvation]
8. With the help of Christ's salvific work on Earth He leaves us with the hope of eternal life and holiness.