“My God why have you abandoned me?” prayed Jesus, along with the ancient psalmist and countless others over the millennia whom darkness has enveloped and whose prayers have been met with deep and lasting silence.
What authentic Word of God do we speak and embody when we sit with those whose pain and suffering is overwhelming? Is that Word the same for all, whether their suffering and isolation is self-inflicted, a result of corporate or systemic sin, or has no discernible connection to their own or others’ sin, who are merely the hapless victims of a vast, random, capricious universe?
What hope can we honestly urge upon a doomed infant or her distraught parents, for whom nearly all God’s promises have seemed empty? What authentic promise can we hold out to the masses in myriad circumstances who find themselves likewise abandoned?
Whether among the congregation of battered and bewildered believers, or among the “bruised reeds” who have only questions and fleeting bonds of community, how do we live out our call to honor the crucified Christ and comfort hearts that crave God’s mercy?
– Come join us in exploring these questions at the 2019 conference at the Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, Illinois.