Suffering is the state in which somebody is subjected to either bodily or spiritual pain. In religion, suffering is tantamount to divine communication. It is believed that they are used to shape the life of that person towards conforming to doctrines of individual’s religion. Furfey has the believe that suffering is a key in allowing grace to flow into the world, and that suffering should embraced as this sacrifice brings things for the greater good and should be embraced and accepted. He tries to argue from the perspective that people should deny themselves in order for God’s Grace to flow in them (Furfey 81). Miller, bases supports Furfey that voluntary suffering is acceptable to the Christian religion setting derived from the sermon at Mt. Olives (262). He bases his argument on the fact that suffering for religion is acceptable and is a form of true worship. Sacrifice and denial are part of human nature and should be taken as some sort of divine communication. God plays a major role in shaping what the people believe in. he continues to emphasize that suffering which would be for a saint as stepping stone to a greater merit might be an occasion of sin for a weaker soul (Furfey 81). However, Khema argues that fulfillment can come from within a person as the only thing that is needed for one to survive in the world is sunshine, rain, food and other things (108). She believes that there is no permanent satisfaction, and no matter what a person sacrifices for that feeling will definitely end and the person will be as before. Not even sacrifice can satiate a person. Furfey on the other hand believes that once a person has made a sacrifice to the Supreme God, the feeling is everlasting and there will a reward awaiting him, as depicted when he says that a saint uses suffering as a stepping stone to greater merit (81);
There has to be sacrifice for one to change the world. One has to identify the causes suffering. One has to search his or her soul to envision these causes. The next thing that one is supposed to know is the truth behind dukka, which is Buddhism for suffering (Khema 120). One needs to ask the reasons behind these pains as it may shed the light to what the gods want from the affected person. Khema says that suffering arises from our own making and is mainly caused by two main factors, which she says are easy to identify. She puts one as cravings that does desire what one does not have. The form of desires may be in form of greed, lusts or even infatuations. When these desires are not satisfied, we tend to get upset leading to suffering which is not desirable (120,108-109). The other she points out is ignorance which she says by itself is the more basic form of suffering. She continues to say that people live in dillusion and that is the major reason as to why suffering is common and what people need to understand is the basic transition of all things and get to know reality in detail since reality is impermanence. Furfey believes that the course is of suffering that is not worthy is sin (81)
Suffering can be ended by simply removing the cause of suffering through nirodha, that is unlocking the feeling of cravings and attaining dispassion. It puts off the forms of one clinging to things and brings about freedom, freedom from worries. However, sufferings do not leave abruptly but there is a gradual process that has to be followed, a path of self-gradual improvement. From the time, one discovers that he is suffering to the time he or she frees oneself from the suffering, this cycle is called rebirth. Suffering is deemed to hereditary and the path to cessation of suffering may take many lifetimes of various generations (Khema 120-121). With this in mind, Khema advocates that people should not worry with details of things they do not know as this subjects them to suffering (1). What both of these writers agree on is that different forms of prayers may help in cessation of suffering. Khema calls it meditation in which she insists that one has to have peace of mind In order to conduct it. She says it is a form that helps people to move away from their attachments allows people to disconnect from the world (180,109). Furfey on the other hand calls for prayers to the most High God. This in turn helps alleviate suffering by inflaming the compassion in that person, giving the peace of mind (Furfey 81).
Suffering both physical and emotional is brought about by the thoughts that are entrenched in one’s mind. They are things that are avoidable but so included in our spiritualism. Depending on which religion one belongs to, on is able to understand ways that can alleviate such suffering. Khema says that the major cause the major cause is that people want to see what they have themselves created. “Most people live in a reality they have invented. They imagine it to be as they would like it to be. Then they wonder why they are not happy, which is simply because imagination and reality do no coincide” (Khema 112). This shows how people are slave of their minds and how their minds have become their source of sorrows and all this mental activity just serves the purpose of supporting the bodily cravings (121) . She says that to overcome this one has to strip this mind bare, as the illusion that gives rise to greed and hate is banished and from there everything within the person is left pure and clears (Kehma 137). Spiritualism also plays a very big role in suffering, as Furfey puts it across, that suffering is coded form of message from God that helps keep his creations on check so that they can forever worship him. One needs to have divine intervention in order to understand why the pains have been inflicted through and how they can be overcome- through a sincere prayer directed towards God (Furfey 83). He continues to illustrate of how God lets his people suffer in order to redeem humankind. The major point that these two authors bring about is that we need not to torture ourselves with worries in the world. All that one needs is to understand the causes of such suffering how to alleviate them, the methods given being prayers and meditations.