"The condition of lovelessness is the cause of suffering for the entire human race."



"Love is, sooner or later, the beginning of  all suffering."

Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Archbishop of Salzburg 1611


"If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive."

-Elbert Hubbard


"Grief will make a new person out of you, if it doesn't kill you in the making.."

-Stephanie Ericsson


"The worst Pain a man can have is to know much and be impotent to act."

-Herodotus (5 century B.C.)


"How sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"The fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself.

   And no heart ever suffered

when it went in search of its dreams."

-Paulo Coelho


"Suffering!.....We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues."

-Anatole France


"We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering. We need as much something to suffer for as something to live for."

Eric Hoffer



"The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more your try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion your fear of being hurt."

-Thomas Merton



"Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness."



"We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full."

-Marcel Proust


"You desire to know the art of living, my friend?

It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering."

-Henri F. Amiel


"knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us."

St. Paul (Romans 5;3-5)


"You must learn to sacrifice suffering."



"Suffering needs time: it cannot survive in the NOW."

-Eckhart Tolle

The Power of NOW


"Another man will never be able to know the degree of my suffering, because he is another and not me, and besides a man is rarely willing to acknowledge someone else as a sufferer."

-Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1880)


"Is suffering so very serious? I have come to doubt it. It may be quite childish, a sort of undignified pastime-I'm referring to the kind of suffering a man inflicts on a woman or a woman on a man. It's extremely painful. I agree that it's hardly bearable. But I very much fear that this sort of pain deserves no consideration at all. It's no more worthy of respect than old age or illness."


Earthly Paradise


"Consider the total suffering of the whole earth at every moment. If only we were able to gather up this formidable magnitude, to gauge its volume, to weigh, count, analyze it-what an astronomic mass, what a terrifying total!"

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Paris ,8 Jan 1950


"It is no surprise that danger and suffering surround us. What astonishes is the singing."

-Jack Gilbert "Horses at Midnight Without a Moon"



"Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it."

-John Donne


"You are suffering because you are trying to go faster than God."

Pak Subuh


"We suffer for nothing. Our own death wish is our only real tragedy."

-Mario Puzo


"What you yourself can suffer is the utmost that can be suffered on earth. If you starve to death, you experience all the starvation that ever has been or ever can be. If ten thousand other women starve to death with you, their suffering is not increased by a single pang: their share in your fate does not make you ten thousand times as hungry, nor prolong your suffering ten thousand times. Therefore do not be oppressed by "the frightful sum of human suffering"; there is no sum....Poverty and pain are not cumulative."

G.B. Shaw


"We cannot consent to be judged by someone who has suffered less than ourselves. And since each of us regards himself as an unrecognized Job…."

E.M. Cioran

The Trouble with Being Born


"All suffering is bearable if it is seen as part of a story."

Isak Dinesen


"He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because of his fear."



"What really raises one's indignation against suffering is not suffering intrinsically, but the senselessness of suffering."



"There are moods in which we court suffering, in the hope that here, at least, we shall find reality, sharp peaks and edges of truth. but it turns out to be scene-painting and counterfeit. The only thing grief has taught me is to know how shallow it is."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and cruelties; it accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap."

-Herman Hesse



"Long have you suffered the deaths of fathers and mothers and sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and while you have thus suffered, you have shed more tears upon this long way that there is water in the four great oceans. and, thus, have you long undergone suffering....and filled the graveyards full."




"The question of God and the question of suffering belong together. We would not be able to suffer from our situation unless we and at least an implicit pre-apprehension of an undamaged, happy, fulfilled kind of existence, unless we were at least implicitly looking for salvation and redemption. Only because we as human beings are meant for salvation do we suffer our disastrous situation and rebel against it."

-Walter Kasper The God of Jesus Christ


"We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full."

Marcel Proust


"To have become a deeper man is the privilege of those who have suffered."

Oscar Wilde


"Contemplating the suffering which is unbearable to us, and is unbearable to others, too, can produce awake mind, which arises from the compassion that wishes to free all living beings from sufferings."

The Dalai Lama


"The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because small and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt."

Thomas Merton


"It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive."

W. Somerset Maugham


"Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise."

-George Orwell

Shooting an Elephant


   "Alienation means you don't feel at ease in any situation, any place, or with any person, not even with yourself. You are always trying to get "home" but never feel at home. Some of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, such as Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce, recognized alienation as the universal dilemma of human existence, probably felt it deeply within themselves and so were able to express it brilliantly in their works. They don't offer a solution. Their contribution is to show us a reflection of the human predicament so that we can see it more clearly. To see one's predicament clearly is a first step toward going beyond it."

Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth


""Suffering is by no means a privilege, a sign of nobility a remind of God. Suffering is a fierce, bestial thing, commonplace, uncalled for, natural as air. It is intangible; no one can grasp it or fight against it; it dwells in time-is the same thing as time; if it comes in fits and starts, that is only so as to leave the sufferer more defenseless during the moments that follow, those long moments when one relives the last bout of torture and waits for the next."

-Cesare Pavese (1908-50)

The Burning Brand


"For our heart to yield without revolt to the hard law of creation, is there not a psychological need to find some positive value that can transfigure this painful waste in the process that shapes us and eventually make it worth accepting?....Dark and repulsive though it is, suffering has been revealed to us as a supremely active principle for the humanization and the divinization of the universe."

-Pierre Teilhard De Chardin


"The true source of our suffering has been our timidity. We have been afraid to think.....Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write....Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes or parliaments....that many of our rights are inherent and essential, agreed on as maxims and established as preliminaries, even before Parliament existed."

-John Adams


"I call Buddhism the Red Cross of religions. It is based on what we call the Four Noble Truths: that there are sufferings in the world; that the sufferings have a cause; that the sufferings can be ended; and that there is a methodology for ending them we call the Eight-fold Path."

Dr. Ying

How Are We To Live


Book: "Fools, Martyrs, Traitors: The Story of Martyrdom in the Western World." by Lacey Baldwin Smith

Book: "After The Darkest Hour: How Suffering Begins the Journey to Wisdom" by Kathleen A. Brehony

Book: "Suffering" by Dorothee Soelle

© 2008



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