June 17, 2013
The Good Side of Evil
“If God is good, why does he let bad things happen?” We have all asked this question. It is a problem that plagues even the most brilliant of intellects and challenges even the strongest of believers. The answer seems even more elusive when bad things happen to good people. A recent experience has put this question in a different light for me.
I met a man, we’ll call him John, who had suffered a series of medical emergencies. His limbs were stiff and cramped. He was unable to speak or communicate in any meaningful way, except smile. It all happened suddenly. One day he was healthy, the next he was not. John had lived a difficult life, but he had a good heart. Yet, prior to his physical decline, he was becoming more and more estranged from his family. Everything was about to fall apart. Now, however, those who were about to leave him for good were constantly at his bedside. They had rediscovered their love for him, as I’m sure he did for them. Before his death, he was reconciled to family members who had not spoken to him in years. It was clear to me that, if not for his medical condition, none of this reconciliation would have taken place and even the family he had would have been lost.
This experience taught me that we have to judge things from the perspective of eternity. What is most important is that we leave this world reconciled to God and to others. Whatever it takes to accomplish this reconciliation is worth it. Unfortunately, because of our stubbornness, it often takes a tragedy to make us realize the importance of reconciliation. God, loving us and desiring our salvation, allows these bad things to happen so that we will attain that Supreme Good which will make us forget even the most painful of tragedies.
+ Br. Ignatius Pio Mariae, CFR