Catholic Stories of Faith and Hope/ TAN Books
By Alejandro Bermudez
Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s a dilemma that has haunted every community that has believed in a just God.
In his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris, Pope John Paul the Great explains the terms of the dilemma: “Within each form of suffering endured by man, and at the same time at the basis of the whole world of suffering, there inevitably arises the question: why? It is a question about the cause, the reason, and equally, about the purpose of suffering, and, in brief, a question about its meaning. Not only does it accompany human suffering, but it seems even to determine its human content, what makes suffering precisely human suffering.”
The question has also become the core atheist and agnostic argument against believers, especially Christians. The question is raised, “Why, if your God is just, do the good and especially the innocent suffer bad, even terrible, things that your God could have easily prevented?”
Enter “Catholic Stories of Faith and Hope: How God brings Good out of Suffering.”
Catholic apologist Steven R. Hemler, author of “The Reality of God: The Layman’s Guide to Scientific Evidence for the Creator,” tackles the question with an inspiring Catholic proposal: the personal testimony of ordinary Catholics who have dealt with sometimes unimaginable sufferings in their lives by finding an inspiration in Jesus Christ.
As TAN Books explains in the presentation of this inspiring book, “Catholic Stories of Faith and Hope helps us see suffering and hardship as an opportunity to experience God’s grace and love by focusing on Jesus Christ, who experienced profound pain and suffering himself and who cares deeply about our own suffering.”
The infinite mystery of God himself suffering for and with humanity may not look like a good-enough answer to many, and the dilemma will continue to haunt those who seek a painless salvation. But for those open to the mystery of Christ, “understanding the purpose of suffering and the greater good that can come from it will help us and those we love become better, instead of bitter, when facing life’s inevitable hardships and difficulties.