Thursday, March 1, 2007

Suffering and The Medium is the Message

In the 60's Marshall McLuhan coined an important phrase: "The Medium is the Message". According to Wikipedia, the phrase means that the form of media delivering the message, is more important than any "meaning" or "content" that the media conveys. The form of the medium itself is what changes our consciousness.

For me personally, McLuhan’s insight has always explained the Book of Job on the question of suffering. Job’s comforters’ timeworn answers were totally useless to Job. At the same time, their insensitivity to his pain carried their message.

Then God Himself shows up. God’s explanation did not satisfy me any more than those of the others. Job though, was obviously pleased. His life completely turned around and he lived happily ever after.

I have always wanted to believe that “The Medium was the Message.” Think of it. What would it be like for the Creator of the entire universe to drop whatever He was doing, to give you His personal response? When He did that for me, my life was changed forever.

As a priest, when someone asks me to explain his or her suffering, they are asking the wrong person. I don’t have a clue. I do know though, that if they will ask God, eventually He answers. When He responds, not only does one get an answer, but the Medium can become the Message.


Anonymous said...

There is a place in suffering that takes us beyond the pain, it is twin sisters of grief and love. They bring us to a point where we ourselves finally realize that we are not immortal but still created in the Image of God

Anonymous said...

Suffering and pain have twin sisters that are called grief and love, Job realized that he was mortal and needed the love of the infinite.