The Problem of Evil

The presence of evil in the world causes some people to question God’s existence. If God is so great and good, why would He allow evil and suffering to exist?

Natural or physical evil results from the natural processes that occur in God’s creation.

Even worse is moral evil which results from the free will that allows man to turn away from God and to inflict pain and suffering on others instead.

God does not create any evil but He allows evil so that greater good can come from it. This greater good may not necessarily be easy for man to notice.

The Catholic Church teaches that God’s power and love is always stronger than any evil, and that suffering draws men closer to each other and closer to God who suffers along with us.

The great mystery of evil:

If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God Who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 309

Beings with free will can turn away from good:

Moral evil is worse than natural evil:

Man ” perishes” when he loses “eternal life”. The opposite of salvation is not, therefore, only temporal suffering, any kind of suffering, but the definitive suffering: the loss of eternal life, being rejected by God, damnation. The only-begotten Son was given to humanity primarily to protect man against this definitive evil and against definitive suffering. In his salvific mission, the Son must therefore strike evil right at its transcendental roots from which it develops in human history. These transcendental roots of evil are grounded in sin and death: for they are at the basis of the loss of eternal life. The mission of the only-begotten Son consists in conquering sin and death. He conquers sin by his obedience unto death, and He overcomes death by his Resurrection.

Pope John Paul II, Savifici Doloris, February 11, 1984

Finding meaning and hope in suffering:

If we get this wrong, we get God wrong:

God wants good but still allows evil:

The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5: 20-21

An essential part of something larger:

No evil can keep man from the love of God:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Everything fits together:

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