On another thread there is discussion about guilt. "I must have done something...or not done something...as a mother that has resulted in this situation my difficult child." Why else would everybody be suffering so much? There must be someone responsible and as the mother, the caretaker, the responsible one, it must be me. Not true. Not true at all. I believe that the age-old question faithful people and unbelievers alike have asked is this one: If God is all-powerful, why is there suffering? I know I asked that question the night my sister died nearly 30 years ago. Why would got allow genetic abnormalities to result in a child's life being taken so early? And again when my husband was lost in alcoholism and nothing, nothing I did seemed to matter. And again, as my precious youngest son went down further and further and further and today, it seems he is completely taken over by his addiction. Why would an all-loving God allow these things, and so many others in the world, to happen? I can't see the full answer to these questions but I believe we can see redemption in the suffering and I also believe we have a God who has created us to find our own way---to not be automatons---and there is an inherent love and deep respect for us in that creation. Rohr talks about this today. We must lose our false selves to become all that God hopes for us. We and our difficult children. Everybody suffers everywhere, and there are all kinds of suffering. I believe we here are experiencing a particular kind of ongoing, unrelenting suffering. I don't pretend to fully understand it, and I have shaken my fist at God over this. He can handle my anger, my fear, my despair and my pain. He is right here with all of us and our difficult children, I believe. He grieves too, over what we and they are enduring. There is a bigger picture that we can't see, I also believe. That is where faith comes in. This DOES feel like dying sometimes. Sometimes the pain is so great it is almost unbearable. There is purpose in the pain, if we will work for it. I believe that is what many of us are doing right here. Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation Transformative Dying Heaven Is Now and Later Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Anyone who wants to save his life, must lose it. Anyone who loses her life will find it. — Matthew 16:25 That’s a pretty strong, almost brutal, statement from Jesus. But it makes very clear that there is a necessary suffering that cannot be avoided, which Jesus calls “losing your very life,” or the False Self. Your False Self is your role, title, and personal image that is largely a creation of your own mind and attachments. It will and must die in exact correlation to how much you want the Real. The Real is what all the world religions were pointing to when they spoke of heaven, nirvana, bliss, or enlightenment. Their only mistake was that they pushed it off into the next world. When you die before you die, you are choosing the Real—or union with God—over your imaginary separation from God. You are choosing “the kingdom of God” over your own smaller kingdoms. Heaven is the state of union both here and later. Only the True Self knows that. The lasting question is: “How much False Self are you willing to shed to find your True Self?” Such necessary suffering will always feel like dying, which is what good spiritual teachers will tell you very honestly.