101 Wednesday v1

I’m trying out this new feature!  101 Wednesday is where you have a chance to post something basic about our Catholic faith, life, and/or teachings.  Head over to No Heavy Lifting to participate and/or see more!

I’ll keep it light this week since I literally just found out about this a few minutes ago and I’m breaking my no posting during the day rule (again).  Its almost lunch though, right?

“God has deemed it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit evil at all.” ~St. Augustine

I guess this post has two main points:  the idea of suffering and the importance of the early Church fathers.

In efforts to disprove the existence of God, most people point to natural disasters as proof that God doesn’t exist, that God CAN’T exist because if he did, why would he allow such horrible things to happen?  I feel like the above quote from St. Augustine sums up Catholic thought in a nutshell, that through suffering we can ultimately be made better and purer than we could without it and that even suffering has a purpose.  Even if we can’t see it or it seems too painful to get through.  Its like another version of the “nothing worth doing is easy” quote.

I think the Catholic view is different than most new non-denom, evangelical feel-good churches (such as Joel Osteen) that teach the prosperity message where if you only believe or have enough faith, only blessings will happen.  Catholic teaching is to embrace it all, sufferings and easily identifiable blessings, as blessings. Look at Jesus on the cross.  Such pain was necessary.  What if Jesus had said, “Nah, actually guys, I don’t think its entirely necessary that I need to go through all of this humiliation and dying thing.”  He didn’t.  It was necessary.

Also, the second half of this was to point out the importance of the early Church fathers in helping us to unravel God’s revelations.  The Church didn’t just fall out of the sky and neither did the Bible.  Can you imagine being around during those early years when the holy spirit was working through all these people to understand the new convent and basic Christian principles?  Like the idea that suffering could be a good thing!  I never quite understood why Catholics regarded these “old people” so highly, but it is literally awe-some to consider what insight and how full of God’s grace they must have been to be able to understand these concepts which were so revolutionary. One thing I really want to do more of is read their original writings.  I’ll put that on my never ending “to-do” list!

3 thoughts on “101 Wednesday v1

  1. I love that the Catholic Church calls it the “mystery” of suffering. There are a lot of things that they call mysteries, actually… Anyway, I love that in that sense it means that it is always something that we can grow to understand more deeply (either personally or as a Church), but never something that we will be able to understand completely. This side of heaven, anyway.

  2. Fully agree. This is a really really hard concept for the West in particular, because being comfortable is the idol of our culture. All pain or discomfort is BAD… we can’t possibly imagine how pain could be good. And yet it is, in the mystery of our faith. That for some reason is much easier to understand in Eastern cultures, where pain is a part of life.

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