Diamonds in the Rough: Homilies and Reflections on the Mystery of Suffering

Sister Paula J. Miller, FSE, Editor

Theologians in their final months at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida, reflect on the meaning and purpose of human suffering in the life of the Christian. In these homilies and reflections on key passages of St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter “The Mystery of Human Suffering” (Salvifici Doloris, 1984), co-suffering with Jesus Christ, the Spouse of the Church, becomes the “setting” to contemplate Christ’s invitation to “engage” with him in co-redemption. Through this mutual commitment with Christ to suffer what is needed for the redemption of the world, “living stones” discovered among the “rough” elements of everyday life, become transformed into precious diamonds through the “Refiner’s fire.”

(Click on the image for a postcard size version you can download and print – “Jesus, alive on the cross and in converse with the Father,” designed for the chapel at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary by Msgr. David Toups, President-Rector.)

Paperback $12.95 | Kindle $9.99

TESTIMONIALS

These reflections on John Paul II’s Gospel of Suffering by lay theology students and transitional deacons are pastorally-wise and theologically-rich. They shed light on the age-old question of the meaning of human suffering. With lively examples from daily life, they guide the reader to embrace the redemptive value of suffering in union with Christ for the sake of his Body, the Church. – Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archdiocese of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


In this engaging collection of homilies, Pope Francis’ call for us to become missionary disciples is informed by St John Paul II’s profound reflections on the mystery of human suffering. These homilies by deacons-soon-to-be-ordained-priests and lay theologians offer to us a way of relating the missionary zeal explicit in the Gospel with our own mysterious share in the Cross of our Lord Jesus. – Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana


I am grateful to the Fourth Theologians of St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary who have shared with us their brief and deep theological reflections on human suffering. The reader will be surprised to find such wisdom in the homilies of these young men (and the reflections of two women in the class) on a reality that relates to us all. – Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, S.T.D., Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Chairman of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees


This collection of heartfelt and thoughtful homilies and reflections by our soon-to-be graduates offers the reader brief yet deeply theological insights into the perennial problem of suffering. I am very proud of the work they have done, and I look forward to witnessing their efficacious pastoral ministry in the years to come. – Msgr. David L. Toups, President-Rector, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, FL


I join diverse readers who will mine gems of hope in the midst of suffering from Diamonds in the Rough.  As a nurse, it adds another viable tool to my arsenal of empathetic care-giving for patients who suffer. As a wife, it has granted me retrospective reassurance about my beloved husband’s grave suffering for months last year following invasive surgery. And as a patient myself many times over, it has helped me understand suffering as a source of hope in communion with Christ’s own suffering. We need not consider suffering the end product. Diamonds in the Rough encourages our acceptance of the mystery of suffering, inviting those who suffer to become participants in God’s redemptive love. – Diane Haight, RN, BIS, MA


This set of Homilies on the Theology of Suffering based upon Salvifici Doloris, prepared by students of the medical ethics course at Saint Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, is a sign of pastoral commitment to the suffering world we are called to serve. This book will be a wonderful resource for the ministry of preaching to the people of God who face challenging situations where it is difficult to discover the provident presence of our Good God. – Fr. Jaime E. Robledo, PSS, formation adviser, spiritual director and moral theologian at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University, Menlo Park, California

ABOUT THE EDITOR

Sister Paula Jean Miller, FSE, is Professor of Moral and Historical Theology at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida.

OTHER POPULAR SPIRITUALITY BOOKS

A Love Letter to Mary – Keith Berube

A Love Letter to Mary – Keith Berube

A Love Letter to Mary By Keith Berubé The Holy Trinity is absolutely enamoured of Mary. The Saints and so many good Catholics not canonized are totally in love with Mary. Both God and man have expressed their hearts for Mary in poetry.   When these expressions of love...

read more
Always a New Beginning!

Always a New Beginning!

Always a New Beginning! A Conversation between Broken Catholic Spiritual Warriors By Ronda Chervin, Ph.D., and David E. Dowd RONDA: Life is a broken field of dreams for some of us. Loved ones, experience, accidents, illness, old age... each inflicting pain and...

read more
Returning Home: A Spirituality of the Christian Journey

Returning Home: A Spirituality of the Christian Journey

Returning Home: A Spirituality of the Christian Journey The spiritual life has often been presented in terms of a journey because it is all about finding our way to God. For Christians, the spiritual journey has to do with following Christ into the mystery of the...

read more
The Holiness of Womanhood by Mary Kloska

The Holiness of Womanhood by Mary Kloska

Below is a spiritual talk that Mary gave to a group of Polish youth at a retreat center in Babliniec, Poland about the Love that God has for them. It was on September 3, 2005 and is translated by Hania Przybylo. You can listen to this both in my English and Hania's...

read more
Help Dante Help Italy

Help Dante Help Italy

Help Dante Help Italy A new translation by Daniel Fitzpatrick accompanied by the new sculptures of Timothy Schmalz Donate today!The Inferno is now available in Paperback and Kindle! Click a link below to order your copy today!The Purgatorio is now available in...

read more
New Paths to God and the Soul by Roger Skrenes

New Paths to God and the Soul by Roger Skrenes

New Paths to God and the Soul by Roger Skrenes Much of what we receive through media of social communications does not concern itself with either God or the soul. So it is up to each of us to make ourselves aware of the pathways to God and the evidence for...

read more
Ave Maria, authored by Richard Ruesch

Ave Maria, authored by Richard Ruesch

Ave Maria by Richard Ruesch The life of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is brought to mind through the contemplation of the mysteries of the Rosary and the recitation of its prayers. The mysteries of the Rosary are those that are Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious, and...

read more
LIFE Runners Daily Devotions, ed. by Dr. Pat Castle

LIFE Runners Daily Devotions, ed. by Dr. Pat Castle

COMING SOON! LIFE Runners Daily Devotions Edited by Dr. Pat Castle LIFE Runners is the world's largest Pro-Life team, running optional, jersey required, faith needed. We are fueled by prayers and devotions. We impact hearts and minds for saving lives with our...

read more
The Philosophical Spirituality of Ronda Chervin

The Philosophical Spirituality of Ronda Chervin

Please choose one of Ronda Chervin's vintage books for free! The titles are as follows: Holding Hands with God, Quotable Saints, Seeking Christ in the Joys & Sorrows of Aging, The Fabric of Our Lives, Becoming a Handmaid of the Lord, Voyage to Insight, Feminine,...

read more
Simple Holiness, authored by Al Hughes and Ronda Chervin

Simple Holiness, authored by Al Hughes and Ronda Chervin

Simple Holiness by Albert E. Hughes and Ronda Chervin We all are called to holiness, but we may not know what holiness means or how to approach it. Do you really desire to climb the ladder of holiness? Do you seek a life of spiritual joy in union with God,...

read more
Today I Made My First Reconciliation

Today I Made My First Reconciliation

Today I Made My First Reconciliationby Dianne AhernWonderfully instructional book!Best friends Maria and Riley accidentally break a window then lie to their parents. Their growing discomfort coincides with encounters with their parish priests and teachers and lessons...

read more
Today I Made My First Communion

Today I Made My First Communion

Today I Made My First Communionby Dianne AhernA favorite gift for First Communion!Join Maria and Riley and their classmates as they offer to help Father Hugo solve the Mystery of the Eucharist. Learn about the Church, the Mass, music and prayer. “Look in the Back of...

read more
Today I Was Baptized

Today I Was Baptized

Today I Was Baptized by Dianne Ahern All time best seller! Begins with a children’s story about a baby’s baptism day-told from the baby’s perspective! Includes short essays that explain the sacrament of Baptism. The book becomes a keepsake for this very special day...

read more
Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging

Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging

Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging by Dr. Ronda Chervin Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging is a refreshing and inspiring look at a period of your life ‘en route to eternity’ where Jesus awaits you in a new way. A perfect gift also for...

read more
Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John

Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John

Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John is about recovering who we are . . . our true selves. Simply put, the true self is the self that God wants us to be, what Kierkegaard called God’s prophesy for...

read more
Holding Hands with God

Holding Hands with God

Holding Hands with God Edited by Dr. Ronda Chervin Miscarriage, depression, breast cancer, abuse, divorce, addiction, and other specific personal, chronic problems touch the lives of many Catholic women. While expert advice is plentiful, what so many women...

read more
Quotable Saints

Quotable Saints

Quotable Saints Ed. Dr. Ronda Chervin These memorable quotes of the saints and hundreds more are uniquely organized by theme in this uplifting treasury. In each chapter, you follow a particular theme and journey with the saints as they provide just the right word of...

read more
St. Robert Bellarmine

St. Robert Bellarmine

St. Robert Bellarmine by Shaun McAfee St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was a prolific author of the Counter Reformation and great defender of the Catholic Church. This book tells the story of the great saint who went from obscure title to become one of...

read more
Today Someone I Love Passed Away

Today Someone I Love Passed Away

Today Someone I Love Passed Away by Dianne Ahern Danny becomes enraged when he learns he has to give up his room so Grandpa Vernon can come live with his family. However, as time passes, Danny and his siblings develop a deep love for their grandfather who...

read more
Today We Became Engaged

Today We Became Engaged

Today We Became Engaged by Dianne Ahern A thoughtful, romantic, faith-centered, keepsake book for couples discerning marriage. Discusses the power of love, the importance of shared values and more. This is a marriage planner…not a wedding planner! Allows...

read more
Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet by Shane Kapler Discover the rewards of uniting two of the Catholic Church’s most beloved devotions. In this new book, Shane Kapler provides 20 reflections - paired with 40 classic works of art - demonstrating the riches...

read more
Waiting with Purpose

Waiting with Purpose

Waiting with Purpose: Persevering When God Says 'Not Yet' by Jeannie Ewing All of life involves waiting. We wait at stoplights. We are caught in traffic jams. We agonize over medical test results. We hang on to a much-anticipated getaway. Sometimes, we wait to finish...

read more
Cry Oneness

Cry Oneness

Cry Oneness by Joe Avalos I was spiritually dead, despite all the things I was doing with my life. I don’t think there’s a worse death that can happen to any human being. Now I have a Life beyond my dreams. Full of Miracles, Poetry, and Locutions. This book...

read more
Escaping Anxiety: Along the Road to Spiritual Joy

Escaping Anxiety: Along the Road to Spiritual Joy

Escaping Anxiety: Along the Road to Spiritual Joy by Albert E. Hughes and Ronda Chervin Escaping Anxiety: Along the Road to Spiritual Joy is not a “simple” book of advice, which could turn out to be ineffective because too “pat.” Instead it evolved into something that...

read more
Trinity Footprints

Trinity Footprints

Trinity Footprints by Roger Skrenes This book asserts there are evidences of the tri-une nature of God in both people and in the world. However, such instances of God’s presence are not generally known by Christians or by others around the world. This book...

read more
Weeping with Jesus: The Journey from Grief to Hope

Weeping with Jesus: The Journey from Grief to Hope

Weeping with Jesus: The Journey from Grief to Hope by Dr. Ronda Chervin In the past the word grief was used only to describe the sorrow of loss through death. Nowadays pain coming from other kinds of losses such as rejection and divorce are also seen to...

read more
In Praise of Life

In Praise of Life

In Praise of Life by Dr. Donald DeMarco This book illustrates how ten different factors can improve our appreciation of life: Evolution prepares it, Meaning justifies it, Love enhances it, Truth directs it, Freedom crowns it, Virtue strengthens it,...

read more
The Jesus Code: In the Beginning was the Word

The Jesus Code: In the Beginning was the Word

The Jesus Code: In the Beginning was the Word by Roger Skrenes Jesus is the only person in the history of the world whose biography was known before he was born! He wanted everyone on earth to know of this miraculous Old Testament portrait of himself (Luke...

read more
The Path of Spiritual Happiness

The Path of Spiritual Happiness

The Path of Spiritual Happiness by Dr. Heather M. Erb This book is a story of the unfolding triumph of Christian happiness as a philosophy of life. We begin with ancient Greek roots and principles provided us by Aristotle, ‘the master of those who know.’ We continue...

read more