Dr. Harry Boosalis anchored his around St. Haralambos, a patron saint of priests whose very name means Lamp of Joy. St. Haralambos’ example speaks to the present suffering of all Christians and especially those in ministry who suffer alongside their parishioners, spouses and families. Women listened intently as Boosalis overviewed the difficult question of suffering in human experience, in spiritual growth and in ministering to others.
Boosalis noted that suffering is common to the human experience but central to the Orthodox Christian salvation.
“Sin is separation from God, a sickness that requires therapy, not a failure to follow rules,” he said. At its origin, suffering is the result of sin and death in the world, and is an inevitable part of all fallen creation, but we can respond to in such a way that it can become a therapy for the sickness.
Boosalis outlined the origins of suffering, its relationship to the sickness of pride, and how suffering produces benefits, including perseverance, increased faith, more fervent prayer, taking up one’s cross and courage. Furthermore, Christians’ love is tested and proven true when they suffer alongside others, he said.
The lecture was followed by a question and answer session, wherein women discussed ministering to the acute suffering of friends, family and parishioners. The lecture ended with a discussion on taking care not to present answers so much as to take up the sufferings of others and to love them truly.
Seminary Wives' Evening Education with Dr. Harry Boosalis continues on March 10th with a discussion of "The Spiritual and Theological Significance of Icons in the Orthodox Faith."