The sufferings and death of Pope John Paul II prompts us to review our biblical faith that both suffering and death are divine decrees of punishment for sin.
From a human point of view it is a judgment infinitely severe affecting all of creation. All life on this planet must die. Death is seldom easy.
However, by the mysterious infinite love and mercy of God, suffering and death became the instruments of choice as acts of divine reparation for sin. God placed redemptive value on the passion and crucifixion of his Son, Jesus.
To suffer and die after the manner of Christ is to participate in the mysteries of reparation, redemption and salvation.
The Holy Father, like Jesus did not welcome painful experiences, but accepted them in the spirit of being a participant in the redemptive mystery. When afflicted in any way we naturally pray the same prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden, "Father if it be possible, don't ask me to suffer," but then we submit, "Not my will but Thine be done."
There are few among us who do not have our own cross to bear, but it is spiritually comforting to realize we can become co-redeemers with Christ as we personally participate in the mysteries of reparation and redemption mysteries exemplified in the life and death of John Paul II. And he died not only as a great man but as a co-redeemer.
Edward M. Foster
Co. Cork, Ireland
The Epistle of James, Chapter 2, verses 14-17: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
I wonder if that's what senators were thinking about last March 17 when they voted against President Bush's $14 billion proposed cut to Medicaid, the program that pays for the healthcare of the poorest in our society. Funny, though, how in a Jan.11, 2005, interview with the Washington Times, President Bush said the following: "I think more and more people understand the importance of faith in their life." Assuming the President is right about people understanding the importance of both faith AND works, it nevertheless seems that our fearless leader could use a couple lessons about the same.
I'm getting pretty tired of the Religious Right's fawning over President Dubya, especially when their fruits reveal how dead their faith really is. Personally, I believe that the Almighty wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts
Brainerd school budget
The school budget shortfall is a mystery for this resident of School District 181. According to the school district's figures we have about 7,000 students and 500 teachers. This represents a ratio of 14 students per one teacher. If we laid off 60 teachers the district would save the three million dollars. This would result in a pupil/teacher ratio of just under 16-1. Could it be we are overstaffed on teachers?
It is obvious this whole thing is to get the public to support another referendum in an off year election when no one but teachers will show up.
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