The Problem of Evil

In time I will post a proper introduction, either here or I have posted a proper introduction on the About page, but now there are far more important matters to deal with…

All of you have no doubt heard about and felt the effects of the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary. In the wake of that horrible day, there is discussion about gun control and mental health issues. The victims, those brave adults and innocent children, are being remembered. But how can God allow something like this to happen?

I don’t know. There. I said it. I simply do not know. Things like this are mysteries, with a capital “M”. The mystery of iniquity is a reality which humanity has been struggling with since our race came into existence. While I do not know the answer to these questions, I do know that our Lord is a loving God. We may not understand the world, but He truly is in control. I think that it is said particularly well by C. S. Lewis, in his book A Case for Christianity:

God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free.

Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (…) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.

And so there we have it: free will, our greatest gift, can also be our greatest burden, and in some cases, curse. How do we utilize our free will? Love of self, or love of others and God? Do we see it as the gift that it is, or do we abuse it, tossing it away, like so many other forgotten gifts?

In these final days leading to the Nativity of the One that brings peace to all, let us remember all those victims in our prayers. May they rest in peace in the eternal light of the Father. May the families have consolation, and eventually, come to peace and see God in all of this, a difficult task to be sure. Let us pray for all of those that struggle with mental illness, as well as their care-takers. Finally, and I realize that some people may not appreciate this sentiment, but let us also pray for the soul of the attacker, who was created by God just like the rest of us.

We may not have answers. But we do have Him, and that’s the best possible thing we can have.

Pax et bonum.

4 thoughts on “The Problem of Evil

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