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Where is God At Times Like These? A meditation in the wake of a violent atrocity [Prayer Ping]
Archdiocese of Washington.org ^ | 12-14-12 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 12/14/2012 10:01:32 PM PST by Salvation

One of the great mysteries to to believer and non-believer alike is the mystery of evil and suffering.  If there is a God who is omnipotent and omniscient how can he tolerate evil, injustice, and suffering of the innocent? Where was God yesterday when the shootings in Connecticut occurred?  Where is God when a young girl is raped, when genocide is committed, when evil men hatch their plots? Why Did God even conceive the evil ones, and let them be born?

The problem of evil cannot be simply answered. It is a mystery. It’s purpose and why God permits it are caught up in our limited vision and understanding. The scriptures say how “all things work together for the good of those who love and trust the Lord and are called according to his purposes.” But how this is so is difficult for us to see in many circumstances.

Anyone who have ever suffered tragic and senseless loss or observed the disproportionate suffering that some must endure cannot help but ask, why? And the answers aren’t all that satisfying to many for suffering is ultimately mysterious in many ways.

I have some respect for those who struggle to believe in the wake of tragedy. I do not share their struggle but I understand and respect its depths and the dignity of the question. At the end of the trail of questions, often asked in anguish, is God who has not chosen to supply simple answers. Perhaps if he were our simple minds could not comprehend them anyway. We are left simply to decide, often in the face of great evil and puzzling suffering, that God exists or not.

As in the days of Job, we cry out for answers but little is forthcoming. In the Book of Job, God speaks from a whirlwind and He questions Job’s ability to even ask the right questions, let alone venture and answer to the problem and presence of evil and suffering. If He were to explain, it seems all that we would hear would be thunder. In the end he is God and we are not. This must be enough and we must look to the reward that awaits the faithful with trust.

Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of suffering is its uneven distribution. In America we suffer little in comparison to many other parts of the world. Further, even here, some skate through life strong and sleek, wealthy and well fed. Others endure suffering, crippling disease, inexplicable and sudden losses, financial setbacks, and burdens.

It is a true fact that a lot of our suffering comes from bad choices, substance abuse and lack of self-control. But some suffering seems unrelated to any of this.

And the most difficult suffering to accept is that caused on the innocent by third parties who seem to suffer no penalty. Parents who mistreat or neglect their children, the poor who are exploited and used, caught in schemes others have made, perhaps it is corrupt governments, perhaps unscrupulous industries, or crazed killers.

Suffering is hard to explain or accept simply. I think this just has to be admitted. Simple slogans and quick answers are seldom sufficient in the face of great evil and suffering. Perhaps when interacting with an atheist of this third kind, sympathy, understanding and a call to humility goes farther than forceful rebuttal.

A respectful exposition of the Christian understanding of evil might include some of the following points. Note, these are not explanations per se (for suffering is a great mystery) and they are humble for they admit of their own limits.

  1. The Scriptures teach that God created a world that was as a paradise. Though we only get a brief glimpse of it, it seems clear that death and suffering were not part of the garden.
  2. But even there the serpent coiled from the branch of a tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and EVIL. So even in paradise the mystery of evil lurked in minimal form.
  3. In a way the tree and the serpent had to be there. For we were made to love. And love requires freedom and freedom requires choices. The Yes of love must permit of the No of sin. In our rebellious “no” both we and the world unraveled, death and chaos entered in. Paradise was lost and a far more hostile and unpredictable world remained. From this fact came all of the suffering and evil we endure. Our sins alone cause an enormous amount of suffering on this earth, by my reckoning that vast majority of it. Of the suffering caused by natural phenomenon this too is linked to sin, Original Sin, wherein we preferred to reign in a hellish imitation rather than serve in the real paradise.
  4. This link of evil and suffering to human freedom also explains God’s usual non-intervention in evil matters. Were God to do so routinely, it would  make an abstraction of human freedom and thus removes a central pillar of love. But here too there is mystery for the scriptures frequently recount how God does intervene to put an end to evil plots, to turn back wars, shorten famines and plagues. Why does he sometimes intervene and sometimes not? Why do prayers of deliverance sometimes get answered and sometimes not? Here too there is a mystery of providence.
  5. The lengthiest Biblical treatise on suffering is the Book of Job and there God shows an almost shocking lack of sympathy for Job’s questions and sets a lengthy foundation for the conclusion that the mind of man is simply incapable of seeing into the depths of this problem. God saw fit that Job’s faith be tested and strengthened. But in the end Job is restored and re-established with even greater blessings in a kind of foretaste of what is meant by heaven.
  6. The First Letter of Peter also explains suffering in this way: In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7) In other words, our sufferings purify and prepare us to meet God.

  7. Does this mean that those who suffer more need more purification? Not necessarily. It could also mean that a greater glory is waiting for them. For the Scriptures teach Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison(2 Cor 4:16-17) Hence suffering “produces” glory in the world to come. With this insight, those who suffer more, but with faith, will have greater glory in the world to come.
  8. Regarding the apparent injustice of uneven suffering it will be noted that the Scriptures teach of a great reversal wherein many who are last shall be first (Mat 20:16), where the mighty will be cast down and the lowly exulted, where the rich will go away empty and poor be filled. (Luke 1:52-53) In this sense it is not necessarily an blessing to rich and well fed, unaccustomed to any suffering. For in the great reversal the first will be last. The only chance the rich and well healed have to avoid this is to be generous and kind to the poor and those who suffer (1 Tim:6:17-18).
  9. Finally, as to God’s apparent insensitivity to suffering, we can only point to Christ who did not exempt himself from the suffering we chose by leaving Eden. He suffered mightily and unjustly but also showed that this would be a way home to paradise.

To these points I am sure you will add. But be careful with the problem of evil and suffering. It has mysterious dimensions which must be respected. Simple answers may not help those who struggle with the problem of suffering and evil. Understanding and an exposition that shows forth the Christian struggle to come to grips with this may be the best way. The “answer” of scripture requires faith but the answer appeals to reason,  and calls us to humility before a great mystery of which we see only a little. The appeal to humility before a mystery may command greater respect from an atheist of this sort than pat answers which may tend to alienate.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Prayer; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; bookofjob; catholic; ct; current; job; msgrcharlespope; violence
Another book:

"When Bad Things Happen to Good People"

1 posted on 12/14/2012 10:01:46 PM PST by Salvation
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To: Salvation

The libs threw God out of the school and wouldn’t “buzz” him back in.


2 posted on 12/14/2012 10:03:52 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (It's not about the guns. It's about the control.)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

 
Catholic Prayer Ping!
 
 
If you aren't on the Prayer Ping List now, please FReepmail me.

 


3 posted on 12/14/2012 10:05:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Prayers for all the parents as for the repose of the souls of those who were killed.

We must also pray for the person who perpetrated this crime. God have mercy on him.


4 posted on 12/14/2012 10:05:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Prayers for all the parents as well as for the repose of the souls of those who were killed.


5 posted on 12/14/2012 10:06:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I hate to say it, but when my atheist brother brings up arguments using examples like this, it’s very difficult to counter with just a “in God we trust.” Thanks for the article.


6 posted on 12/14/2012 10:07:26 PM PST by Thorliveshere
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To: Salvation

Another great book — now out of print, however. It helped me a lot as I watch five family members die within a period of five years.

“Without Thorns It’s Not a Rose” by Father Jack Scott


7 posted on 12/14/2012 10:08:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Thorliveshere

Ask the atheist how he/she would have prevented it?

The fact that they even want to talk about it shows, to me, that they have a belief in God. Call them on it.


8 posted on 12/14/2012 10:10:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
for healing

Beginning Experience, a peer facilitated weekend for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one

9 posted on 12/14/2012 10:11:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I never find it necessary to blame God for the evil that men do. Where is God? He is always right there offering comfort and peace.


10 posted on 12/14/2012 10:14:09 PM PST by Nifster
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To: Salvation

revelation 3:20


11 posted on 12/14/2012 10:21:21 PM PST by Fred (http://thebubblefilm.com/)
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To: Salvation

That would be the same “God” that supposedly made the lunitic and then set him apon those children?

Mental illness indeed.


12 posted on 12/14/2012 10:27:10 PM PST by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: Fred
Yes, we must ask.

20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.


13 posted on 12/14/2012 10:31:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I believe that every one of those children murdered today are in heaven.

One has to wonder though... had they been protected from this tragedy, how many of them would have come to a saving relationship with Jesus once they passed out of their age of innocence?

When we allow our educators to shun and reject God from our schools, what would we expect to happen as a result?

The atheists will surely look at this and say “see? where is your God in situations such as these?” To which I would respond “I don’t know... but maybe if God were allowed in school, they would still be alive.”

I would also have this observation to make...

As a result of God allowing this to happen, how many parents will finally wake up and remove their children from a public school system which indoctrinates our children in the ways of the world and teaches them to hate God?

I wonder how many lives these children’s death will actually save in the long run?

I wonder how many people will curse God in response to this, and how many people will turn to Him?

The greatest suffering this earth will see is still yet to come. Do you want to be around for it?

Jesus has a great escape plan.


14 posted on 12/14/2012 10:37:26 PM PST by Safrguns
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To: Safrguns

**As a result of God allowing this to happen, how many parents will finally wake up and remove their children from a public school system which indoctrinates our children in the ways of the world and teaches them to hate God?

I wonder how many lives these children’s death will actually save in the long run?**

Ditto to that!


15 posted on 12/14/2012 10:41:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I’m not Christian, Jew, or atheist. I have no “home”, but I seek answers just like most people. Just the other night a friend and I were discussing the existence of God and the presence of evil and great suffering. In doing so, I remembered that Dennis Prager has often talked on this subject and found this “hour” from his program from 2007. Prager mentions Job just like the author here. Thank you, Salvation, for posting this. I don’t know what else to say. Words are so feeble at times like this.

Prager God , Evil and suffering 1 of 4 Apologetics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2__CP7edm9s

Prager : God , Evil & Suffering 2 of 4 Apologetics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3YDgnDrGjU

Prager : God , Evil & Suffering 3 of 4 Apologetics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB8pF3Od0jU

Prager : God , Evil & Suffering 4 of 4 Apologetics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOyXilktg7w


16 posted on 12/14/2012 10:49:19 PM PST by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

The Hound of Heaven

http://www.bartleby.com/236/239.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hound_of_Heaven


17 posted on 12/14/2012 10:55:27 PM PST by Fred (http://thebubblefilm.com/)
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To: beaversmom
Where is God At Times Like These? A meditation in the wake of a violent atrocity [Prayer Ping]

Catholics, Get Ready to Suffer
Mood changes as pope, young people reflect on suffering in Way of CrossM
Following The Truth: Appreciating The Gift Of Suffering (Catholic or Open)
Cardinal Burke: suffering does not rid life of purpose
In historic TV Q&A, Pope Benedict speaks about suffering, comatose persons, persecution (Catholic)
Pope Addresses Suffering in Historic Television Appearance
(Why Am I Catholic?) For Peace While Suffering (A Few Words for Wednesday)
Praying in Sickness and Old Age
The Church as a Hospital
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Apostolate of Suffering Redux

Redemptive Suffering
Through church, Jesus ministers to all who are sick in the world
'Amazing Grace for Those Who Suffer'
Pope Benedict asks sick to offer up suffering for priests (Catholic Caucus)
Why Must I Suffer?
On the Advantages of Tribulations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Why Be Catholic? 3: Suffering [Ecumenical]
"Love Really Can Make Suffering Bearable": Woman with Spina Bifida
Experts at Euthanasia Symposium Stress Unity, Strategy, and the Triumph of Love over Suffering
Holy Father prays for peace and unity, encourages the suffering to trust in God

Joy-Filled Suffering, Laetare Sunday
Children 'Suffering >From Lack Of Two-Parent Family', Study Finds
Pope Says Euthanasia 'False Solution' to Suffering, Alludes to Comatose Woman's Fate
Excerpts from THE FRUITS OF HIS LOVE - The Value Of Suffering - Mother M. Angelica
Why Not You? (on suffering)
Vicar takes down crucifixion sculpture 'because it's a scary depiction of suffering'
The Value of Suffering in the Life of Christian Perfection
IN BRUSH WITH DEATH, PRIEST SHOWN HELL, PURGATORY, DEGREES OF SUFFERING
Prayers to Saint Agatha [For Those Suffering from Breast Cancer]
REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING(Catholic Caucus or by Invitation Only)

18 posted on 12/14/2012 11:02:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Fred
 

The Hound of Heaven

by

Francis Thompson (1859-1907)

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
  I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
  Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
                  Up vistaed hopes I sped;
                  And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
                  But with unhurrying chase,
                  And unperturbèd pace,
                Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
                  They beat--and a Voice beat
                  More instant than the Feet--
                "All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."

                  I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
  Trellised with intertwining charities
(For, though I knew His love Who followed,
                  Yet was I sore adread
Lest having Him, I must have naught beside);
But if one little casement parted wide,
  The gust of His approach would clash it to.
  Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
  And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clanged bars;
                  Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o' the moon.
I said to dawn, Be sudden; to eve, Be soon;
  With thy young skyey blossoms heap me over
                  From this tremendous Lover!
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
  I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
  Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
  Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
                  But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
                The long savannahs of the blue;
                    Or whether, Thunder-driven,
                  They clanged his chariot 'thwart a heaven
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o' their feet--
	Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
                  Still with unhurrying chase,
                  And unperturbèd pace,
                Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
                  Came on the following Feet,
                  And a Voice above their beat--
                "Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me."

I sought no more that after which I strayed
                In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children's eyes
                Seems something, something that replies;
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But, just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
                With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
"Come then, ye other children, Nature's--share
With me," said I, "your delicate fellowship;
                Let me greet you lip to lip,
                Let me twine with you caresses,
                  Wantoning
              With our Lady-Mother's vagrant tresses'
                  Banqueting
                With her in her wind-walled palace,
                Underneath her azured daïs,
                Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
                    From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring."
                    So it was done;
I in their delicate fellowship was one--
Drew the bolt of Nature's secrecies.
                  I knew all the swift importings
                  On the wilful face of skies;
                  I knew how the clouds arise
                  Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;
                    All that's born or dies
                  Rose and drooped with--made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine--
                  With them joyed and was bereaven.
                  I was heavy with the even,
                  When she lit her glimmering tapers
                  Round the day's dead sanctities.
                  I laughed in the morning's eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
                  Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
                    I laid my own to beat,
                    And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven's gray cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
                These things and I; in sound I speak--
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
                  Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
                  The breasts of her tenderness;
Never did any milk of hers once bless
                    My thirsting mouth.
                    Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
                    With unperturbèd pace,
                  Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
                    And past those noisèd Feet
                    A voice comes yet more fleet--
"Lo naught contents thee, who content'st not Me."

Naked I wait Thy love's uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
                    And smitten me to my knee;
                I am defenseless utterly.
                I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
                I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o' the mounded years--
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
                Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
                Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
                Ah! must--
                Designer infinite!--
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i' the dust;
And now my heart is a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
                From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
                Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mist confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsed turrets slowly wash again.
                But not ere him who summoneth
                I first have seen, enwound
With blooming robes, purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man's heart or life it be which yields
                Thee harvest, must Thy harvest fields
                Be dunged with rotten death?

                  Now of that long pursuit
                  Comes on at hand the bruit;
                That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
                  "And is thy earth so marred,
                  Shattered in shard on shard?
                Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
                Strange, piteous, futile thing,
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught," He said,
"And human love needs human meriting,
                How hast thou merited--
Of all man's clotted clay rhe dingiest clot?
                Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee
                Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
                Not for thy harms.
But just that thou might'st seek it in my arms.
                All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for the at home;
                Rise, clasp My hand, and come!"

  Halts by me that footfall;
  Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstreched caressingly?
  "Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
  I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me."

Francis Thompson (1859-1907)


19 posted on 12/14/2012 11:17:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

you are the best... Merry Christmas to all amdg


20 posted on 12/14/2012 11:31:42 PM PST by Fred (http://thebubblefilm.com/)
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To: Salvation

I always thought that God is interested in what is in our hearts, not the details of our deaths or our longevity, God knew those children, he knew the shooter, he knows the parents, and brothers and sisters, and aunts, and best friends of the kids, he knows us on this thread, it is all part of the human experience.

If my child dies of cancer, it doesn’t bother God, he welcomes her home, but he is interested in how she dealt with it, how I dealt with it, how the doctors, the nurses, the guy that made her wig, the guy in the bar that I spilled my guts to, all of us individual humans dealt with it, and with all of the rest of life and their losses and wins, or whether they should even use words like “losses and wins” when talking about life.

This earthly period is when God lets us, nature, rattlesnakes and hurricanes, and car accidents and earthly existence carry on, as he pays attention to what is in our hearts as things happen, and influence us, and how life shapes us.

I have never understood these questions about ‘where is God’, ‘why am I dying’, ‘why is my child dying of bone cancer’, ‘why did God let this steering column go through my chest’, or ‘God blessed me with winning the 20 million dollar lottery’, ‘Oh, looky, God let that rock fall just seconds before I walked over there’, I just don’t think that he gets involved in such things to a degree that we need to incorporate it into our thinking, start miracle score keeping, and miracle talking. I think the things that God finds important, are different (naturally) than many of the things that we find important.

We all suffer, but without suffering, we may as well be rocks carved with prayerful hands.
How many times have we heard the cliche, “God let my wife and child die, I don’t believe in him anymore”, what the heck is that about? The wife, the child, you, all have your own individual relationship with God, and it is the afterlife that is all important.

This is a tragedy to we humans (God already has the children, they and he are doing just fine), but it isn’t God’s doing, or lack of doing.

I wished that I knew more about theology, because I think that this is Christianity 101 and I don’t understand how the media, or the left, and even many Christians think that God created a rock garden of worshipful Christian sculptures who never become rough and ugly, and who don’t live on our own domain, or in our own existence.


21 posted on 12/14/2012 11:38:58 PM PST by ansel12 (A.Coulter2005(truncated)Romney will never recover from his Court's create of a right to gay marriage)
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To: Salvation

Sadly, we are not only are dealing with human flesh and blood, but also we are in the midst of a spiritual warfare situation here, BIGTIME.


22 posted on 12/15/2012 2:30:33 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

The sad reality is that, the day that the same libs threw God out, sadly, are the same libs who invited the devil in.


23 posted on 12/15/2012 2:40:24 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: ansel12

Please do see posts numbers 22 and 23. Thank-you.


24 posted on 12/15/2012 2:52:57 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Safrguns

All you need is to BELIEVE!


25 posted on 12/15/2012 2:54:31 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl

Huh?


26 posted on 12/15/2012 2:58:39 AM PST by ansel12 (A.Coulter2005(truncated)Romney will never recover from his Court's create of a right to gay marriage)
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To: ansel12

Those are the posts that I had post, posts 22 and 23.


27 posted on 12/15/2012 3:12:21 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

As a CT FRper, and living 40 minutes away from this horrible shooting incident, prayers for the repose of the souls of those who died and for confort and support to those who are left behind.


28 posted on 12/15/2012 3:17:07 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: ansel12; Salvation; Biggirl
We suffer because we live in a broken world that we ourselves created. We ignore God. We do everything we can against His commandments that are meant to give us a good life. We boo God in public and agree with those who relish in practicing evil. We pass laws that are against the moral values of God. And when OUR evil lends itself to this sort of thing, then we complain, "Where is God?" We laugh at those who believe and say, "See, this proves that there is no God otherwise He would never have allowed this." This is mockery of God.

Meanwhile, God is constantly working in all things-even events like this-to help us come to Him. He wants to comfort and heal us, trying to draw us back to Him. May God use this opportunity to help people understand our brokeness so that we may repent and turn to Christ to be healed.

29 posted on 12/15/2012 3:43:52 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

Very good.


30 posted on 12/15/2012 3:52:21 AM PST by Tax-chick (I'm a nightmare, not a dream.)
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To: Salvation

Thank you for this post Salvation. Yes, God is a mystery. Good and evil are a part of our struggle.

May God Bless the parents of those children. Somehow...

Prayers up.


31 posted on 12/15/2012 4:01:50 AM PST by poobear (Socialism, in the minds of the elites, is a con-game for the serfs, nothing more.)
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To: HarleyD

AMEN to that.


32 posted on 12/15/2012 4:22:04 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: HarleyD

Amen. And if were not for God’s common grace, this type of thing, and much worse, would be an every minute occurence. Those who have not repented and turned to Christ hate God and are filled with all sorts of evil. We do not realize how much evil is held back by God’s Providential hand.

We should not be saying - “where is God”, but should realize how active He really is in this fallen world whereby He keeps this from being common. We should be saying, “Thank you Lord for only allowing this to happen on a rare occasion. As much as people hate God, the world does not deserve such continued favor. Thank you for reminding us of how truly evil sin is, and how truly good and righteous and just you are. Help us to love you more. Help us to tell others about you before it is too late for them.”


33 posted on 12/15/2012 5:11:24 AM PST by lupie
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To: Salvation

Where is God in a time like this?

At the same place where He was when his Only-Begotten Son was nailed to a cross on a hill outside of Jerusalem.


34 posted on 12/15/2012 5:22:27 AM PST by lightman (If the Patriarchate of the East held a state like the Vatican I would apply for political asylum.)
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To: lightman

Sin entered into the world and by sin came death.


35 posted on 12/15/2012 5:25:42 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Salvation

for later


36 posted on 12/15/2012 6:04:22 AM PST by quintr
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To: Salvation

I will. Thanks.


37 posted on 12/15/2012 6:42:00 AM PST by Thorliveshere
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To: HarleyD

Yes, we cannot ask God “Why?” but we can ask him, “What do we do now, Lord?”

We can ask the “Why?”, but it really doesn’t do that much good.


38 posted on 12/15/2012 11:37:39 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: HarleyD

**May God use this opportunity to help people understand our brokeness so that we may repent and turn to Christ to be healed.**

Amen!


39 posted on 12/15/2012 11:39:40 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: BigCinBigD; Salvation
"That would be the same “God” that supposedly made the lunitic and then set him apon those children?"

Big C, since you phrased that as a question, allow me to hazard a response.

I do not think God "makes" anyone a lunatic, paranoid schizophrenic, murderously sick and evil. Not by His ordaining will -- a will which is seen in His magnificent Creation, which is all good, good after good.

You have an inkling of this if your heart has ever responded to the magnificence, simplicity and loveliness of natural things.

When Jesus walked this earth He was always acting to repair the ruined world and restore this goodness. There's a not a lunatic he encountered that he didn't restore to his right mind. He gave healing to sin-sick souls.

People say bitter things about God because they are revolted, frustrated and in deep pain over the intractability of evil. I share this, too. But looking around, I see that God is still acting through those who nurture, rescue, and restore.

How much more urgent we must be in the part of this mission which is ours.

40 posted on 12/15/2012 5:51:49 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (May the Lord bless you, may the Lord keep you, May He turn to you His countenance and give you peace)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
I do not think God "makes" anyone a lunatic, paranoid schizophrenic, murderously sick and evil.

Well, I do think God allows the creation of lunatic, paranoid schizophrenics among his otherwise majestic creations.

But even paranoid schizophrenics typically have a trace or even a dollop of free will -- maybe fleeting or ephemeral -- but able to influence behavior over time just the same. The perp involved in planning, preparation, and execution of a mass murder would make any number of conscious, immoral decisions along the way. This is the part God didn't "make" -- he only allowed the choices.

Have a Merry Christmas, BTW.

41 posted on 12/15/2012 6:10:23 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: Salvation
There are no words that are adequate, but in hopes that these may be helpful and provide at least some small, tiny level of comfort (along with much prayer), here are a few books that may merit some thoughts for some people in this unbelievably difficult time.

     Godforsaken: Bad Things Happen. Is there a God who cares? Yes. Heres proof. - Dinesh D'Souza

     Making Sense Out of Suffering - Peter Kreeft

     The Problem of Pain - C. S. Lewis

42 posted on 12/15/2012 7:29:58 PM PST by Heart-Rest ("I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life" Deuteronomy 30:19)
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To: Salvation

Romans 14:11-12


43 posted on 12/15/2012 7:33:45 PM PST by Truth2012
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To: Salvation
A Prayer To The Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.

Holy Innocents, you were killed because one man was filled with hatred, pray for those who hate that God may touch their hearts and fill them with love.

Holy Innocents, you experienced a violent death, pray for all who are affected by violence that they may find peace and love.

Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.

Holy Innocents, those around you certainly felt helpless to prevent your deaths, pray for all who feel helpless in their circumstances that they may cling to God for courage and hope.

Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us that one day we may join you there to bask in God's love forever.

Amen.


44 posted on 12/15/2012 8:41:55 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: ansel12

I agree. I have been raised to believe, and have parents who pray, that prayer results in answers. Then they add on that...”but only if it’s in God’s will”...or “But you may not like the answer.” Well I have told my mother that I don’t believe in “prayer.” I do talk to God. And I do request things. I think He does want our fellowship, to know what’s in our hearts, in other words, to commune with us in spirit. But I think we are basically on our own. For the most part. God IS powerful and if He so chooses can intervene however he likes...but in this earth age, this age of grace/faith...I believe perhaps he is letting things play out as they will.


45 posted on 12/19/2012 12:24:01 AM PST by kelly4c (http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/post?id=2900389%2C41#help)
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