Does God cause or just allow disabilities and illness?

So I was giving a bible study about this upcoming Gospel John 9:1-41. And one of the questions that was asked was…does God cause of just allow disabilities and illnesses. There were some who stated he does not cause them because he cannot cause anything evil or bad…but I was thinking that well he could cause a disability for a specific reason like redemptive suffering or to teach someone true love or another (and is a disability inherently evil??)…but did he cause the disability or just allow it to happen. One person argued that if he causes it then people would blame him for suffering but people will do that even if he just allowed it and didn’t directly cause it…And I do understand that the only reason there is disease and such is because of the fall of man…that is when our flesh became weak and death was possible for us. But are there any writings by the church or saints regarding God causing disabilities/illnesses or just allowing them…or maybe he causes some and just allows others…and help would be appreciated in finding documents that talk about this matter.


So I am starting to answer my own question since no one else has :slight_smile: I was listening to a priest and he said God wills suffering…and since disabilities and illness can lead to suffering I am going make the leap and say God will the disabilities and illnesses. But I don’t only do this because I’m smart I read part of Blessed John Paul II’s SALVIFICI DOLORIS and he states that
“Medicine, as the science and also the art of healing, discovers in the vast field of human sufferings the best known area, the one identified with greater precision and relatively more counterbalanced by the methods of “reaction” (that is, the methods of therapy). Nonetheless, this is only one area. The field of human suffering is much wider, more varied, and multi-dimensional.”

So God wills it…but then I asked does the Lord willing something mean he causes it? So I googled that question and was lead to St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and this is what he states:
“We must hold that the will of God is the cause of things; and that He acts by the will, and not, as some have supposed, by a necessity of His nature. This can be shown in three ways…”

So with that God causes disabilities and illnesses…However when we make choices that lead us to circumstances that lead to illness he may just allow the disability or illness to occur.

example: a person who is promiscuous who has unprotected sex contracts an STD from their partner. Or someone decides to drive drunk and crashes into a tree and becomes paralyzed…

Well that is what I have come up with so far. Now what i would like to find is a place where it is written that God wills suffereing…Bible, church document or saint writing will do. Thanks!!

If you read the book of Job, God allows such with his permission. In Job, Satan was the cause of Job’s suffering. As demons were the cause Paul’s thorn in II Cor 12. So, I am guessing that in most cases God allows such, but in some he may in fact cause such.

Thank you that makes sense and helps alot :slight_smile:

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