Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Second Day after Epiphany
The Problem of Suffering
“Christianity, alone, offers an adequate explanation of the mystery of suffering. Why is there such a thing as suffering?
The problem is a profound one and the explanations suggested by various schools of philosophy, fail to satisfy the human heart and leave the mind in doubt.
Christian doctrine tells us, that God is infinitely good but also infinitely just.
Being infinitely good, He created man without suffering.
He also gave man the wonderful gift of liberty, which man abused by committing sin.
Once the sin had been committed, God, in His infinite justice, demanded expiation.
Hence, suffering and death … “and through sin, death and thus death has passed unto all men because all have sinned” (Rom 5:12).
Together with death, came the never-ending series of misfortunes, of physical and moral sufferings, which beset humanity.
Suffering then, does not come directly from God. It is a consequence of and, a punishment for, sin.
But, there is also the aspect of expiation and redemption.
God, in His infinite justice, demands from man a penalty for his sin … but, He does not cease to be infinitely good. Hence, to the mystery of suffering, there is added, the mystery of Redemption. The Son of God Himself, is made man and takes upon Himself, all our sins. For the full expiation of our sins, He, the “Man of Sorrows,” offers to the Eternal Father, His own sufferings of infinite value.
It would not be right, however, if we were to remain inactive in this work of redemption. Like Jesus, we must bow our heads before our Cross and embrace it, with resignation and love. We must unite our sufferings with those of our Redeemer, for the expiation of our sins.”