Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pastoral Care Under the Cross by Richard C. Eyer

This is such a fabulous book on pastoral care. Eyer lays out what it means to care for someone, to suffer alongside a person and help that person see God in the midst of suffering. He speaks so well of the theology of the cross here.

A passage that really conveys well what the book is about: "The goal of pastoral care under the cross is not to try to eliminate suffering but to point the parishioner to God in the midst of suffering. Others have as their task the elimination of suffering, up to a point...Pastoral care, on the other hand, is concerned with the presence of God in the midst of suffering. It concerns itself with helping the suffering parishioner to see God there. The posture of kneeling at the foot of the cross enables us to see God at work in suffering. Ironically, our helplessness makes it possible to see God...Jesus experienced apparent defeat and the feeling of helplessness, and we call it Good Friday. Suffering puts us at the foot of the cross, beside parishioners, where together both sufferers discover the meaning of the cross and the peace that does 'pass all human understanding.' Defeat is the way of the cross, but ironically, defeat acknowledged in faith becomes victory." (p. 33)

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