“Everything happens for a reason” is ambiguous and therefore misleading. God directly wills some things; He merely permits other things. We must believe that God’s Will is distinct from Himself, and is therefore perfectly good and lovable. Bottom line: nothing happens without God’s permission.
“Nothing has ever happened and nothing happens save by the plan of My divine Providence. In all things that I permit, in all things that I give you, in tribulations and in consolations, temporal or spiritual, I do nothing save for your good, so that you may be sanctified in Me and that My Truth be fulfilled in you.”
– God to St. Catherine of Siena
We must strive to be like the monk who said:
“Prosperity does not lift me up, nor adversity cast me down… God does all things, or permits all that happens, for his glory and for our greater good; thus I am always at peace, no matter what happens.” (Words related by St. Alphonsus)
“Whatever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad.” (Prov. 12:21)