On Suffering, Writing and being a Catholic Writer

One time when I was driving around I heard something on the radio about how “nothing bad ever happens to writers” because what other people call “bad” is just “material” for writers.

On other words, if something bad happens to you, use it in some writing project. Take advantage of the bad and transform it into something good.

This reminded me of how we as Catholics are supposed to view suffering: to accept them all as an opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ on Calvary and become more closer to Him. To paraphrase Jesus in Matthew 16:24; “If you wish to be my disciple take up your Cross and follow me.”

Well, then it seems as if the best way for a Catholic to cope with the meanness of life is to be a writer (or some other artistic person). The bad things that happen to you are to be seen as necessary for your Salvation (See the “If you wish…” quote above) and as material for creative projects. There also lies the possibility of adding the command of “preach the Gospel to all Nations.” Use your suffering to unite with Christ and for material for projects and to show how this is the Gospel in action.

This doesn’t mean preaching literally the Gospel, but to paraphrase something originally attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel, if necessary, use fiction.”

NOTE: All of the posts in August 2012 on Paul Sofranko Dot Net will be reposts from an earlier attempt at a general writing blog. New material will start appearing in September. These first few days are just “moving in” and “setting up”.

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