At May’s Carmelite Conversation, Bernadette Micallef led a reflection on our own response to the perennial human questions about suffering and death. The group of 18 engaged thoughtfully and prayerfully in the discussion sharing personal experiences in particular situations. During the discussion we listened to the homily of Bishop Greg Homeming ocd given on the Third Sunday of Easter 2024 which addresses these questions.

Below are the responses of two participants to the session.

I was really grateful for the zoom conversation on Wednesday and also the opportunity to hear Bishop Homeming’s sermon. Thank you for your wonderful preparation and presentation. Having experienced the grief of losing my son-in-law to blood cancer last year, it was really special to hear how others had experienced their loss.  I definitely experienced some light filled moments during the conversation. Just to see it written that “the answer to suffering is Jesus” was quite a moment for me, along with Simone Weil’s amazing statement that “Affliction is God’s tight embrace as a Lover …..” When my son-in-law died, the grief in me expanded into love and compassion for my daughter and grand children. I seemed to feel their pain and I was forced by something intangible, to take on their grief in a sense, and forget my own.      by Chloe.

I attended the Carmelite Conversation gathering on 1st May 2024, led by Bernadette Micallef. The session addressed the perennial human questions – why is there suffering, and what can I do about death. I got to reaffirm my belief that suffering is part of life. All very well for me to say that now, in a relative state of stable physical and mental health. The real challenge of course comes when I am thrown into states of disequilibrium and real suffering. I hope I will not be cast into questions of “why me”? The session also provided rich insights, through the generous sharing of others in the session, of their real and current lived experience of death and loss. I got to see that states of real peace and acceptance were possible at end of life of our loved ones. A state of grace of rich humanity, and love. Again I can only hope I would aspire to such transformation when my time comes!      by Bartley

Click here to find the powerpoint used in the session.

Bishop Greg’s homily is available at  Homily begins at 8:20

Being in the Post-Easter season we finished with the greeting of the Risen Christ – Peace be with you. Song available here.