Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Last Supper Food Portion Study and Suffering

They analyzed the sizes of the plates of food depicted in the paintings of The Last Supper over the years. (See it here.) It got me thinking about suffering and our tolerance for suffering. Lent is a good time of year for that. Contemplating the Last Supper, doubly so.

Jesus suffered greatly on the cross the day after the Last Supper, but one does not often think of the portions he consumed prior to death. Well, apparently a particular group of scientist did, but they are in the minority... until now.

We hate to suffer. I hate to suffer. I'm sure people throughout history hated to suffer, it's the nature of suffering. If it weren't so, they'd call it pleasure.

But the thing is, we aren't *willing* to suffer these days. That's why we overeat. We don't want to suffer hunger or suffer not joining the kids in a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints.

We smoke or do drugs, so we don't have to suffer emotional pain or boredom.

We contract sexually transmitted disease because we don't want to suffer the discomfort of waiting until marriage to make love. We make kids suffer being born out of wedlock for the same reason.

We divorce rather than suffer through hard times to improve our marriage. We marry someone we shouldn't because we didn't want to suffer through a long courtship to get to know them.

(I'm not pointing fingers, believe me. I'm guilty of many of these things.)

Even my tolerance for suffering through looking up a word in the dictionary has decreased. I want it instantly spell-checked for me. Do you pop open your dictionary, the paper kind, to look up the definition of a word or do you want the instant relief of an online dictionary? (I actually still enjoy the occasional stroll through the pages of my hard-bound tome- but that is a pleasure, not a suffering.

As we approach Holy Week, let's pray a little more, give a little more, fast a little more. Maybe we can approach Easter with a little more joy because we were more fully able to join Jesus in his suffering and appreciate his sacrifice. Just a thought.

Oo! Oo! Let's end with a Chesterton quote.

"The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost." G.K.C.

Thanks for reading. :)

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