Thought for the Day – 1 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Problem of Evil
“In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul speaks of the Anti-Christ, “the man of sin … the son of perdition, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God…” “Already,” he says, “the mystery of iniquity is at work” (Cf 2 Thess 2:3-7).
From the beginning of the Church’s history until the present time, it has always been the same.
There always have been and always will be, men who do evil, not from human weakness but, from motives of malice, so diabolical as to present something of a mystery to us.
These can be called Anti-Christ because, they seem to be incarnations of the devil, the spirit of iniquity.
They delight in spreading error, in corrupting minds and, in persecuting the Church.
They are steeped in all kinds of baseness and nothing pleases them better, than to succeed in inducing the young and the innocent, to follow them in their sinful ways.
For this purpose, they employ all the advantages of modern technical progress has to offer – the press, the cinema, the radio and television.
In short, they use God’s gifts in their commercialisation of sin, in order to draw souls away from Him.
The realisation of this terrifying fact, provokes two questions.
(1) How can such evil be permitted by God, Who made man for Himself and redeemed him with the Blood of His only-begotten Son?
(2) What steps can we take to control this alarming and universal deluge of evil?
St Augustine answers the first question by pointing out, that the infinite and good God created us without any assistance from ourselves, but does not will to save us without our co-operatikon, since He has endowed us with the gift of liberty.
Moreover, He prefers to draw good from evil, rather than to prevent the evil itself.
We must answer the second question ourselves, remembering that we have a serious obligation to combat evil in ourselves and in our fellow-men.
What have we done up to now and what do wqe propose to do in the future?”