Can sickness be a gift from God

What’s gift from Catholic stand point? And also is sickness a gift from God? It caused a serious argument in my class today.

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God permits evil, including sickness, to work for good for those who love Him. So yes, sickness can be seen as a gift since through it God can work for the good of your soul and that of others. Witness the many sicknesses and sufferings in the lives of the saints.


I know of a number of people who have seen serious health issues as a blessing. That sounds strange to say, but they will say things like it made them who they are (e.g. humble, kind, or some other thing), or in finding that serious health issue, it changed their perspective on life. Meaning, maybe they believed in God, but didn’t live it and now they do.


Yes it can be a chance to offer one’s suffering to God.

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Quite honestly I don’t know where I would be in my faith if I weren’t ill. I’m very much a person that tries pigheadedly to do everything on my own; pair that with the ego to go along with it. My illness makes that impossible to live out and over the years I’ve come to thank God for allowing it to happen in my life because otherwise I don’t think I’d like who I can feel I would’ve become. Every time I forget to have the Lord in my life I get knocked down and have to relearn my lessons and lean on the Lord.

I’m a constant work in progress and I think the Lord uses my illness to whittle away at me. I don’t think God gave me this illness, but he did permit it and uses it for what I think is good in my life.


Here is an example. My dad never went to church. At 79 he got a diagnosis of cancer. It focused him. It became a time of putting things in order. He asked to come to church with us. The thought of that phone call puts tears in my eyes. That time of cancer was a gift. Had he had a heart attack and dropped on the spot, he never would have had that time to get right with God. The last people to see him conscious was a priest and deacon who gave him last rights. So yes, I would say that time was a gift. It’s now my consolation.

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I would say that yes it can be and I have even thanked our Heavenly Father for the pain I was in at the time.


It is a test which is allowed, as God retains the right to test His creations. However, the world prefers to see sickness - or any test - as a negative to be avoided. Thus we see worldly adaptations ranging from assisted suicide to abortion, divorce and re-marriage etc.

The easy way out.

For clarity on suffering, the Book of Tobit is an absolutely great read. It can be read in a single sitting. Highly recommended.


I have coeliac disease. It is a total pain to have to watch every single thing I eat or drink, and often have huge problems if I want to eat away from home. (dreading holiday i. Japan… :unamused:) , but I also see it as a blessing. I struggle with temperance and now, dur to consequent multiple allergies in addition to the coeliac disease, there are severe limits on what I can eat. It has also helped me grow enormously in humility and patience. So yes, I sometimes feel sorry for myself, but ultimately see it as a merciful gift.

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