Suffering and God

I have had two friends that each had a parent that suffered long agonizing terminal illnesses. Each instance left them both believing that if there was a God, why would he allow such awful suffering? I tried to answer that it is through this suffering that we can come to know the joy that life also offers. But that does not comfort nor explain why God allows it to happen. What should the answer be? Thank you.

The answer to this question is too complex for this format. Fortunately, there are two excellent books on the mystery of suffering, one by a Catholic and one by an Anglican:

Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft
The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis

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