how to sorrow/pilgrim knowledge

Assumed Audience:

Theologically-orthodox Christians, or folks interested in things that theologically-orthodox Christians think.

Understanding of sorrow is given, acquired and exercised over time. This time is not random: it is a movement to an end. On the one hand, this counters the way in which great sorrow can make present pain seem an absolute moment, and so render us inert and unteachable (this is despair). On the other hand, it means that the knowledge of sorrow which revelation affords is pilgrim knowledge.… the gospel does not eliminate sorrow through understanding so much as instruct its hearers on when and how to sorrow, how to resist sorrow’s aggravations, how to wait for our end.

 — “Dolent gaudentque: Sorrow in the Christian Life”, in God Without Measure: Working Papers in Christian Theology  —  Volume II: Virtue and Intellect, John Webster, p. 72