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« Joel Belz’s Bad Advice about Giving | Main | Luce dei miei occhi »

February 10, 2009


It has not been a good day.

Almost the first news that hit my inbox this morning was that a dear friend was on the way to the ER. Just over an hour later came the news that another friend has a daughter in the hospital with horrific burn injuries. As I write this, I'm still waiting for updates on both situations.

It's been a good time to keep in mind "The Last Column" by writer and blogger Michael Dubruiel, who died unexpectedly last week. Michael was the husband of Amy Welborn, who published the column on her own blog. A sample:

While in Washington, D.C. several weeks ago, I ran into an old friend, Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, with whom I have collaborated on several books. We met after a Mass for pro-life leaders at Trinity College. It was exactly five years and 10 days from that night in Orlando, FL when Father Benedict nearly lost his life in a tragic accident, and almost four years to the day that I spent a week with him in New York, assisting him in putting the finishing touches on a book that he co-authored with Bishop Baker.

Working with a very frail Father Benedict at the time, I was reminded of an interview that he had given some years earlier at EWTN with Doug Keck on Booknotes. During that interview, when Father Benedict’s book Arise From Darkness was first published, Doug asked Father Benedict to elaborate on something that Father had called the “big lie” in his book. The “big lie,” Father Benedict said, (and I’m paraphrasing him at this point), is to think that if we say all the right prayers and live  correctly, then nothing bad will ever happen to us. Sadly, there are many good people who have lost their faith by believing such a lie, and that makes it a big one indeed!

One only has to think of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, and how much He suffered on the cross, to correct one’s view on this matter. In our own day, there are many whom we know have lived saintly lives, many who have prayed much, and yet have suffered too.

There's much more -- please take a few minutes to read the whole piece -- but the key line is this:

What is the opposite of the "big lie"? Trust.

It has not been a good day. But I'm doing my best to trust.

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So I was going to say that we also have each other for times like these, but I just posted a comment that pokes a bit of fun at you. Sigh. I'm sorry, dearest G. Please know that you're very special to so many of us, and when you hurt, so do we. I'll be praying.

Gina Dalfonzo

Not to worry, LeeQuod. What would friendship (virtual or otherwise) be without humor? :-) Thank you for your prayers.

Rolley Haggard

Ditto here, Gina.

Rolley Haggard

Where Was God? A Meditation on Evil

Where was God when the thing we most dreaded came to pass? What kind of father, worthy of the name, would permit his own offspring to endure unimaginable horror? Is he unable to do anything, or worse, is he unwilling?

One of the tenets of what our founding fathers called “self-evident truths” is that God is both good and all-powerful. For the sake of argument, let’s assume they were on to something. How then do we explain God’s apparent passivity in the face of unutterable evil?

Among those who believe in the goodness and power of God there are two commonly expressed opinions. One emphasizes God’s goodness; the other his power. The first says, in effect, that God WOULD but he CAN’T. He WOULD prevent evil if he could, but in some cases, even he CAN’T do anything to stop it. The other says that God CAN but he WON’T. With the snap of his fingers he COULD step in and prevent tragedy, but he very often WILLFULLY chooses NOT to.

Unfortunately, these two positions tend to caricature God by compromising one of his attributes. A third viewpoint contends that God both can and would prevent terrible things from happening, but that in many instances he MUST NOT lest greater evils ensue. A real-life example might serve to illustrate.

During World War II, a covert group known as the French Underground opposed Hitler’s advance by intercepting military secrets. The oftentimes did this by donning the uniform of the enemy and pretending to be loyal followers of the Third Reich. To all appearances, the French Underground were in league with the enemies of freedom. In reality, they fiercely hated the Nazis. Their apparent complicity with the enemy was merely a cover for the secretive operations necessary to their success. They ached to assure their countrymen they had not changed sides, but because of the stakes, all any of them could say was, “I know you don’t understand, but TRUST ME.” They could have and they would have explained it all, but they knew that they MUST NOT.

Might this explain where God was on that fateful day when evil seemingly prevailed? He who is love personified was suffering the unbearable anguish that only parents who have watched their children die can know. In fact, is it not possible God’s suffering was even greater than our own? For how many of us have ever been in a situation where we were able to prevent evil befalling our loved ones, but were forced by moral imperative to permit it to happen? If, to defeat our enemy, God must at times appear to be impotent or uncaring, how must he feel when we conclude he has turned his back on us?

If God isn’t good, or he isn’t all-powerful, we’re in big trouble. But if he really is loving and omnipotent, then it is eminently possible to hear his own anguished voice over the din of cosmic warfare saying, “I know you don’t understand, but TRUST ME.”



Gina Dalfonzo

Thanks, you guys. Finally got word that my friend is home and doing better, thank God. No word on the lady with the burns yet.

Rachel Coleman

Thanks, Gina, for sharing that column in the middle of your bad day. I'll be praying for you.

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