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Meditation – Beauty from Ashes

October 13, 2010

If God is so good, why is there so much pain, evil and hatred in the world?

This is just one of the many “why?” questions we love to ask.

How can anyone answer this question? Can they offer an intellectual or emotional response or is the question itself only intended as a rhetorical indictment of God?

“I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution,” said Saint Augustine in his Confessions.

We point to the true but empty answer of original sin, knowing that, ultimately, it offers no hope for the hurting or consolation for the broken.

As followers of Christ, however, we are not characterized by a fascination with the question of pain and evil. “We know that the whole of creation has been groaning,” but we turn our eyes to heaven in redemption, “for in this hope we are saved” (Romans 8: 22, 24).

While hardship and difficulty might momentarily shake us, we are reminded that Christ did not come to deliver us from the world but, rather, to illuminate the mystery hidden behind this reality, giving hope to sustain us in this life and the promise of glory hereafter. He calls us to “fix the eyes of our faith on him who alone is [the] conqueror” of sin and death (Catechism of the Catholic Church 385).

The promise and hope of Christ is not escape from pain, evil and hatred. It’s the promise of deliverance, today and forever, from the only one who can bring beauty from ashes.

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