Iceland — through the use of abortion — apparently is on the brink of completely eradicating the suffering from their society, or at least killing off all the unborn children who have any kind of deforming condition. Even Down Syndrome counts as “deformed.” The logic behind this policy is that by diagnosing Down Syndrome as early as possible, and then killing those diagnosed, all suffering will be alleviated. The society will also benefit in not having to deal with their suffering. The time we have to spend on dealing with their suffering would be better applied to ensuring progress for the rest of mankind. Not killing these people is therefore causing suffering in those who do not have the malady.
St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, defines the present as an era of suffering that one places in comparison to the coming glory. Paul adapts a Jewish belief that the age of eschatological salvation will be preceded by a great time of suffering. St. Paul characterizes this age of suffering as creation’s “labor pains,” during which creation, believers, and even the spirit of God groan. Suffering shapes believers into the image of Christ. The bottom line is that we cannot eradiate suffering. As believers, we will all participate in the birth pangs as we wait the completion of our adoption and inheritance of the bodily resurrection.
In your prayer today, ask yourself, “When the world around me seems to want to eradicate suffering, what upholds my faith to endure suffering?” And, “What gives me hope?” Speak to Jesus about all that has arisen in your heart and mind about the issue of suffering. Ask him for what you most need to live in suffering while waiting for His Glory.