Suffering Is for a Greater Good, Pope Affirms

Urges Reading the Events of Life With the Light of Faith

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 7, 2010 ( Benedict XVI says that God is good and cannot will evil, though in his plan of love, he sometimes allows his children to be tried through suffering to lead them to a greater good.

The Pope reflected today on the mystery of suffering when he addressed those gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the midday Angelus.

The Holy Father spoke of the passage from today’s Gospel, which recounts Pontius Pilate’s order to have some Galileans killed in the Temple, and the collapse of a tower on some passers-by.

Since people had concluded that these deaths were the “effect of divine punishment, Jesus restores the true image of God, who is good and cannot will evil,” the Pontiff explained.

He continued: “Jesus invites us to interpret these facts differently, connecting them with conversion: misfortunes, sorrowful events, should not arouse curiosity in us or a seeking of people presumed to be guilty, but they must be occasions for reflecting, for overcoming the illusion of pretending to live without God, and for reinforcing, with the Lord’s help, the commitment to change our life. 

“In the face of sin, God shows himself to be full of mercy and he does not fail to call sinners to avoid evil, to grow in his love and to concretely help our neighbor in need, to live the joy of grace and not risk eternal death.”

The Holy Father added that the “possibility of conversion entails that we learn to read the events of life in the light of faith, animated by the holy fear of God.”

He said that in the presence of suffering or grief, “true wisdom is to let oneself be called from the precariousness of existence and to read human history with God’s eyes, who, always and only wanting the good of his children, by an inscrutable plan of his love, sometimes allows them to be tried through suffering to lead them to a greater good.”

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