Good article on grief and how love and grief in this fallen world are so entangled. The Holy Family plays a special role in this story of love and grief and serve as a paradigm for all families to emulate
The article, The Feast of the Holy Family: ‘Grief is the price we pay for love.’ by Terrance Klein states,
“If we have lived long at all, we know that no one can love us like family, and no one can hurt us like family. And this is as true of the Holy Family as it is of our own. Indeed, pondering the Holy Family reveals the depth of Queen’s Elizabeth’s words, “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
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Christian Grief and Mourning
Christ promised that the joys of this world are but fleeting moments. He did not denounce them, nor condemn them but merely pointed out that final joy and happiness can only be found in God and completed and fulfilled in the next world. Joy that is found in material possessions and earthly endeavors are sure to bring disappointment while joy in spiritual treasure and love of God will last long after the death of our temporal bodies. With these things in mind, Christ looked at the mis-fortunate of the world and reassured them of these mysteries of joy that await them in the next life. As Christ reminded his followers to look beyond the joys of this world and find consolation in their grief and sorrows.
Christ listed Nine Beatitudes that reflected on those who suffer in this world. While all the Beatitudes are equally intriguing and essential to understanding Christ’s message, Christian grief and Christian counselors can find a lot to meditate about concerning the Second Beatitude; Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
This second beatitude is a very consoling one. It even reminds one of the epic picture that portrays the footprints in the sand where Christ literally carries our suffering for us when it becomes overbearing. These words allow one to understand that their suffering and mourning will be acknowledged and comforted; if not in this world, definitely the next.
Yet in accepting this warm promise, Christians must be very aware of what type of mourning is emphasized by Christ. Christ does not condone a worldly mourning of despair and no hope, but demands a mourning that is socially and Christ centered. Socially, the mourning for our fellow man and the sorrows of the world and by Christ centered a mourning that unites the pain one experiences with Christ for the salvation of the world. The mourning and grief must transcend the mere experience of man’s temporality but must look deeper at the spiritual level. In this the suffering and mourning becomes self cleansing, reforming and character building. These attributes of suffering can lead to greater faith, hope, love and repentance. Furthermore, when united with Christ, they can become redemptive.
Within this simple beatitude, consolation and peace should be felt for those who correctly and justly suffer in this world. Suffering comes to the worldly man but only the Christian transforms it into a spiritual victory which will lead to a consoling and comforting beyond one’s wildest dreams; the Beatific Vision.
If you are interested in a Christian Grief Counseling Certification, please review the program.
By Mark Moran, MA