Thursday, November 5, 2009

Note to self:

snipped shamelessly from Diogenes:
quote from Cardinal Ratzinger's 1984 address to German seminarians:

The ability to accept and weather suffering is a fundamental condition for succeeding as a human being. Where it is never learned, existence is doomed to failure. Being up-in-arms about everyone and everything contaminates the ground of the soul, so to speak, and turns it into barren land. The priest must learn how to cope with pain -- formerly one spoke of asceticism in this context. No one likes this word any longer; it becomes more palatable when we translate it from Greek into English -- training. Everyone knows that without training and the will-power that goes with it there is no success. Nowadays one trains for all kinds of skills with enthusiasm and persistence, and in this way record performances in many areas are possible that were once deemed inconceivable. Why does it seem so outlandish to train for real life, for the right life -- to practice the arts of self-denial, of self-control, and of freeing ourselves from our addictions?

As a reminder of this, near my desk is a small copy of an illustration from an old copy of the Imitation of Christ, where Christ is being whipped and mocked by the soldiers in his cell. The caption: "Cease to complain, remembering my Passion."

Man, do I need to be reminded of that often.

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