Does God Suffer?

Authored by Fr. Daniel Pattee in Issue #4.1 of The Catechetical Review

Today, as ever, we need a savior, someone who will not simply accompany us to our death, but who will also save us and bring us back to life. This truth is even more evident considering we are living in the wake of the bloodiest century on record. The twentieth century saw innumerable crimes against humanity that precipitated agonizing questions in the hearts of many. It even left men and women of faith dumbfounded and floundering, including those of the Christian faith. How were Christians to respond to those who suffered or faced countless others who suffered or lost loved ones amid the trenches of World War I, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, the death camps of Nazi Germany, the peasant slaughters of Stalin’s Russia, the ditches of Vietnam, the “killing fields” of Cambodia, the mass murders of Mao’s “reform” in China, the roving death squads of South and Central America, the rivers of blood in Rwanda, the thousands starving on the African continent, or those dying of AIDS and cancer to name a few? Has Christian faith met its match and been found wanting? The answers to this question vary, even among Christians since; in a world of “might makes right,” it’s easy to view God as a weakling, perhaps even wimpy or, at the very least, powerful, though unconcerned. What good is it that the Son of God became flesh in Jesus Christ amid so much suffering?

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

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