Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Evil! . . . [Now that I have your attention. . . .]

who blogs at Lumen Fidei is a student at Ave Maria's Institute for Pastoral Studies (and a newly pregnant father), muses on Evil today

The existence of evil is quite possibly the most troublesome fact to reconcile with our faith. Everything about Christianity stresses over and over, that God is good, Good, GOOD. Yet it's only natural, then, to wonder why such a "good" God allows evil in the world. Why do innocent children get sick and die? Why do tsunamis devastate the lives of thousands of people? The list goes on...

There are a couple of precursor points I'd like to make. First, there's a time and a place to discuss this topic. In the moment of grief, when someone is crying out in pain, "WHY???" --- that is generally NOT the time to launch into a philosophical or theological diatribe, as it's really a request for compassion, not a long-winded answer. Philosophy can wait for a less emotional time. The second point is that, at some point and time, every single one of us will be that emotional person. And the time to be prepared for it is NOW, when we are able to think calmly about it. The less prepared for it we are the more likely such moments of grief will become serious challenges to our faith.

Of course, the only final, difinitive answer to the question of evil is to look at the cross. We can say that Jesus Christ became evil for our sake. By this we don't mean that he was actually evil, but that he took upon himself the consequences of evil. There is, at our disposal, a lifetime's worth of reflection on this fact, and we will still only have skimmed the surface. [snip] Finish It
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