The problem: Some say God is not good because he allows evil in the world.

Let us begin by defining evil. Evil as such does not exist. What exists are creatures which lack perfections which we call evil. For example, a bird born with only one wing would be physical evil because the nature of a bird is to fly. There is also moral evil, or decisions made by intelligent creatures which are contrary God's law bringing about suffering and death of soul and body.

Scripture testifies that God created everything as good as we read: "God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good." (Gn 1:31) And further, "God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are wholesome; There is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of Hades on earth." (Ws 1:13-14)

So, who is responsible for evil?

God created angels good to be principles of order in the universe. For example, soul or plants, animals and men order their bodies to conform to the nature of their souls. Likewise, angels are intelligent principles of order but on a larger scale such as stars, planets, moon an galaxies. Now, some of the angels revolted against God and became intelligent principles of disorder in the universe. In the opinions of some, fallen angels brought suffering and death to the animal kingdom even before the creation of man. It was by the temptation of the Devil that Adam and Eve decided to live by their own rules rather than God's. St. Paul saw the cosmic role of fallen angels as he states, "For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in he heavens." (Eph 6:12) So, the origin of evil lies with angels and men, not with God.

Could God have prevented evil? Yes, if creatures were made without freedom to think and do evil. Man cannot choose absolute evil because in choosing evil we are always choosing a partial good. So, if man could not choose a partial good would he be able to choose the good at all?

God could not forgive Adam and Eve because it would have to act against his own nature which is also infinitely Just. Their sin was infinite because directed toward the infinite God. In justice they deserved death, so he banish them from the "Garden of Paradise" and from his presence. But God did not wish destroy his creation and his goodness would prevail. He sent his Son in human nature as a sacrifice for sin opening the possibility for man to live in the presence of God. The sacrifice of Christ removes Sin in principle but does not do away with temporal punishment due to sin. Without suffering man would be inclined to live only for the goods and this world forgetting that his destiny is the eternal Vision of God.

God allows evil because he does bring a greater good out of the evil we do. The biblical story of Joseph sold by his brothers to slavery in Egypt is an example of this. Yes, Joseph's brothers did evil but in God providence it was to save many people from starvation as Joseph told brothers, "Do not be distressed, and do not be angry with yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you." (Gn 45:5) St. John tells us "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." (Jn 3:16)

So, what are we to do with suffering?

We must suffer in union with Christ because as St. Paul states,"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church." (Col. 1:24)

8. Come, Blessed of My Father