The argument against God quite often comes back to the issue of suffering doesn’t it? If God is so loving and wonderful why does He allow this, that, or the other thing? Why does he allow war, murder, terrorism, disease etc? When people ask that question it might be because they are in the midst of a painful experience themselves, or perhaps they are either ignoring or unaware of God’s greatest gift: free will. Often, if we’re honest with ourselves, and this was a major moment of clarity for me in my own walk with God, we can see that in some ways it has been the bad choices we’ve made that have brought on the rough and tumble patches in our earthly journey. Sometimes, however, the suffering is often brought on by the bad choices of other people. Horrific accidents are caused by drunk driving for example. How many times do we hear about other tragedies such as boating accidents, train wrecks, or plane crashes where those at the controls are texting or not paying attention and risk the safety of others? Or perhaps greedy industries have been contributing pollution for years through industrial waste, poisoning the environment and causing all sorts of health issues for entire communities? God doesn’t want us to suffer, but He will never interfere with our free will.
So what do we do when suffering comes along, whether it’s brought on by ourselves or by unforeseen circumstances? This article in the June Word Among Us devotional is adapted from my new book “Girlfriends and Other Saints: Companions on My Journey of Faith” on what the saints, and in particular Pope St. John Paul the Second, have taught me about suffering. Whatever you’re experiencing right now I hope you find this helpful and I hope you allow your crosses to bring you closer not further away to Jesus.
My husband, Deacon Dominick Pastore & I are so honored to have been awarded First Place in the Family Life Category of the Catholic Press Association Awards for our book, Intimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings Out the Best in Marriage.