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The Transformation of Suffering

Reflections on September 11 and the Wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee

Thomas Keating


Father Thomas Keating explores the tragedy of September 11 from the perspective of Christ consciousness and its ongoing emergence in the world. Describing the attacks of that day as the culmination of the growing violence and disregard for life during the last century, he nevertheless shows us how to see the consequent suffering as an expression of Christ's agony on the cross extended to all humanity.

In the second half of The Transformation of Suffering, Father Keating relates the story of the Marriage Feast at Cana, from the gospel of John. The ordinary is juxtaposed with the extraordinary as Jesus performs his first miracle during the feast, turning water into wine and, as a result, revealing his divinity to the people.

How does this joyful story of Christ's first miracle relate to our suffering in the wake of September 11? Both events demonstrate the potential and the possibilities of Christ revealing himself in the world. Just as Jesus' divinity was revealed even in the humble setting of the marriage feast, the lives of ordinary people can be transformed through the global experience of Christ's incarnation, suffering, and resurrection, while bringing us to new consciousness, understanding, and love.

As the events of September 11, 2001, recede into the past, this compassionate little book continues to be relevant for understanding the widespread suffering in today's world.

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