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?

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


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

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Recovering God's Work in the Sacraments
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The distress has been palpable. Important voices within the Church decry clericalism as the cause of the current scandal. Others point to the Church’s teaching concerning sexuality not being lived or taught with clarity. Still others describe a lack of authentic conversion, that many of our leaders are not allowing the grace of Christ to bring... Read more
The Eucharist: Who, When, What, Why, and Where? Part 1
By Peter Kreeft
Free Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Buddha and Confucius and Lao Tzu all gave us their minds; Christ gave us his body. They all tried to save the world from ignorance by their philosophies; Christ saved the world from sin and death and hell by his body and blood—both on the cross and in the Eucharist. Christ said, “Come unto me.” Buddha said, “... Read more
The Two-Fold Gift of Sacramental Grace: To Heal and To Uplift
By Sr. Mary Madeline Todd, OP
One of the marks of contemporary experience seems to be a widespread sense of brokenness, a sort of heaviness of being. Therefore, one of the least debated claims of Christianity is that we need healing, both personal and societal. Social analysts repeatedly look for the causes of this individual and collective discontent. While there are cultural... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now