Fr. James Martin SJ on The Mystery of Evil (by americamag) in the wake of the school shootings in Connecticut in 2012
Every once in a great while I chance upon a spiritual book which I not only delight in reading but also want to chew on and ponder prayerfully and save to share with others. One such is Fr. Richard Rohr’s Job and the Mystery of Suffering
(Crossroad Publishing, 2011). … Rohr says of The Book of Job that it is “the perennial ungodly story that must be told whenever God makes no sense and we are tempted to tell stories other than the story of faith.” … [more
When Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his great Summa Theologica, he could find only two objections to the existence of God, even though he tried to list at least three objections to every one of the thousands of theses he tried to prove in that great work. One of the two objections is the apparent ability of natural science to explain everything in our experience without God; and the other is the problem of evil. …[more]
The Problem of Suffering and Evil by Fr. Ron Rolheiser
How can there be an all-loving and an all-powerful God if there is so much suffering and evil in our world? Perhaps that is the most difficult religious question of all time. Why does God not act in the face of suffering? Why do bad things happen with seemingly no response from God? In a famous book, After Auschwitz, Richard Rubenstein asks how it is even possible for a Jew to believe in God after the holocaust. How can we believe in God in the face of God’s seeming inaction in the face of suffering and evil? … [more]
Pope answers childrens’ questions about suffering and growing up Why does God let children suffer? How can kids change the world? And how can they overcome their fear of growing up? [more]
Called to Communion A Catholic Reflection on the Meaning of Suffering If God is all powerful, and truly seeks our good, then why does He allow bad things to happen to people? Why does God allow all the suffering we experience in this life, if He loves us and is all-powerful and all-knowing? What does the Catholic Church say about the meaning of suffering? [more]
Catechism of the Catholic Church The Fall 385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? “I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution”, said St. Augustine,257 and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For “the mystery of lawlessness” is clarified only in the light of the “mystery of our religion”.258 The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.259 We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.260[more]
The Joy of the Gospel (Pope Francis) 6. There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter. I realize of course that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty. Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved. I understand the grief of people who have to endure great suffering, yet slowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress: “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is… But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness… It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam 3:17, 21-23, 26).
7. Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met. To some extent this is because our “technological society has succeeded in multiplying occasions of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy”. I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to. I also think of the real joy shown by others who, even amid pressing professional obligations, were able to preserve, in detachment and simplicity, a heart full of faith. In their own way, all these instances of joy flow from the infinite love of God, who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. I never tire of repeating those words of Benedict XVI which take us to the very heart of the Gospel: “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”.
8. Thanks solely to this encounter – or renewed encounter – with God’s love, which blossoms into an enriching friendship, we are liberated from our narrowness and self-absorption. We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being. Here we find the source and inspiration of all our efforts at evangelization. For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?
What does God do about evil? Salt and Light Julian Paparella A reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent
The question is often raised, “If God is good, why is there evil in the world?” Sometimes this dilemma is even used as a proof that God does not exist – if God is all-good and all-powerful, shouldn’t He be able to prevent all evil from happening? The Gospel for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (John 11:1-45) sheds light on this question that has haunted humankind for centuries. What does God do in the face of evil? What is His response to suffering? [more
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Videos about the mystery of evil.