Why allow suffering


#1

Why does God allow good people to be friendless and lonely? to me it makes no sense what so ever.


#2

[quote="willis88, post:1, topic:211387"]
Why does God allow good people to be friendless and lonely? to me it makes no sense what so ever.

[/quote]

I ask that question all the time. Don't have an answer. :shrug:


#3

If you want to know why God allows suffering, you have plenty of resources. Typing in redemptive suffering, vicarious atonement, suffering catholic, etc on google gives you a ton of information. Suffice it to say suffering is for the good of souls, your own and others. A fantastic book in general, but one that I felt really did suffering justice was the Christians Apologetic Handbook (or something of that wording) by Peter Kreeft and Tocelli (sp?).

As for your loneliness, I can pretty much pinpoint why and where it falls within suffering. Because I am going through the same thing! I have no family - my parents relationship with me is almost purely biological due to divorce, abuse, distance etc - my 'friends' from childhood can't stand my Catholicism, and the few friends I had in college have left me because I don't drink, talk sex, etc. I can go almost a week without saying a word to anybody but come Sunday I speak to people :) Anyway, here is the key, I think.

Loneliness helps you. It almost forces you into a corner, and I think this is as close as God comes to putting pressure on our free will. You can either say, man, I need to lean on Christ, I need to be HIS friend, I need to reach out to Him as he reached out to me on the Cross. Or you can say, man this sucks, I'm gonna change and fit in with the secular world, I'm gonna fill my life up with distractions. It is obvious which choice is the right one, and which is the joyful one. It is often said how being a Christian is not always Happy, in the shallow sense, but it is joyful and loving in the deepest sense imaginable.

Be happy that you are alone. Use it as a precious opportunity to get to know your best friend, Jesus! Geez, sometimes when I am amongst people I wish I were alone! There is a constant need in our society to be amongst people but for no apparent reason other than to be with people. Upon reflection, its easy to see why people crave other people around them. Because, for one, being alone is painful to them. They hate themselves that much - and it sounds strong but its entirely true I can assure you. And two, being amongst others lets them bounce around on shallow things like gossip, criticism, idle talk, boasting, etc etc etc.

I often found myself, in the beginning, hating my situation, feeling sorry for myself. Sometimes, I still do, when I am emotional and want a friend. But again, its a lesson in your relationship with God. Everything is a lesson! Use it! I am not saying you should shun others, not at all. But rather, reflect upon your situation, use it to your advantage, use it for God's advantage, learn from it, and know that it won't be forever.


#4

and remember that even married people and people with lots of friends can also be lonely.


#5

I don't want to be disrespectful to God or the Church, I just came back to the church, but the old thoughts are starting to creep back into my mind. For example, basically most people say God allows these things to happen so we'll grow closer to him, which is basically saying God hurts us so we'll turn to him. If a person thought the same way then that person would said to be suffering from a mental illness called Münchausen syndrome by proxy. As for redemptive suffering...if man could by saved by suffering than he would have been saved long ago.


#6

Hi there,
I think we are all given a cross to bear and this just happens to be yours. I have so many children and only long to be alone. It is true what the post before mine said - it makes us lean on Christ and get to know Him more. I will pray for you today that God will send someone your way.


#7

[quote="willis88, post:5, topic:211387"]
I don't want to be disrespectful to God or the Church, I just came back to the church, but the old thoughts are starting to creep back into my mind. For example, basically most people say God allows these things to happen so we'll grow closer to him, which is basically saying God hurts us so we'll turn to him. If a person thought the same way then that person would said to be suffering from a mental illness called Münchausen syndrome by proxy. As for redemptive suffering...if man could by saved by suffering than he would have been saved long ago.

[/quote]

God doesn't ever hurt us. You have it all wrong. You really should pick up that book I mentioned, especially if you have just come back to the Church. God would rather we never were hurt. Buuuut.... blame Adam and Eve :rolleyes: Pain and suffering don't always lead to a closer relationship with God. That is one step above the crucial step: choosing to accept and use suffering, or choosing to fight it and fill yourself with negativity about it.

And I don't quite get your last sentence. You don't understand redemptive suffering I think. Again, read more or pick up the handbook of Christian Apologetics as I mentioned. And yes, man was saved a long time ago. 2000 years ago in fact, by one Jesus Christ, you may have heard of him ;)


#8

Hi there,

A while back I started a thread about things I find inspirational. It does seem that there exists such a huge amount of pain and suffering in our world. And I also find myself asking WHY??? Now, I haven’t read the books as mentioned above (thanks for those, I will look into them.) but I often feel that sometimes we are given these "ailments’ to teach us how amazing we really are. I think it does bring us to God. Haven’t you ever looked at someone’s situation (easier than to look at our own.) and think, WOW? How do they do it? So, a very basic, and not so dramatic experience… I have twins. Love them! But, OMGosh, I can’t tell you how exhausted I am ALL the time. There are days I’m so overwhelmed I can’t imagine how I will actually get through it. Now, if you hear my friends talk about me… I’m super mom! They go on and on about how they couldn’t do what I do. I’m thinking WHAT? I’m barely making it here. I don’t feel sorry for myself. But it’s been quite the learning experience. I feel for the mom who says she longs to be alone sometimes. Seriously, we have to hide the bathroom, and demand PRIVACY…LOL, the real reason we teach kids to be private with their bodies… LOL!

Anyhow, here is the link that show some people dealing with life situations that are heartbreaking. Yet, they are not broken. They have embraced their realities, and made them amazing. I suspect there is much to CHOOSING to taking those lemons, and making lemonaid. (Is it weird that I can just eat a lemon?)


#9

When we suffer we share our suffering with Christ as He died for us on the Cross during the passion. It is not always for us to understand but sometimes there is a lesson, sometimes there are a set of circumstances to be made right, and sometimes it is just a strengthening.

I personally like 1Peter 4:13:

But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.


#10

I like this article: americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0702.asp

Oh, and another book that is just invaluable and should be on every Christians bookshelf - the Screwtape letters by C.S Lewis. It will really speak to you, and you will recognize signs in your life - i.e. you analyse whether or not you are dealing with suffering or loneliness in a Godly way or in a way that doesn't give glory to God (and no glory to God gives glory to someone else!).


#11

God does not make us suffer. If we sin we distance ourself from God. Even if we do not “do it to ourselves” there is sin all around us. We (the human race) need to pray, pray and pray some more! God gave us each other. We ought not spend time worrying or complaining but rather finding ways to make this world better.


#12

[quote="willis88, post:1, topic:211387"]
Why does God allow good people to be friendless and lonely? to me it makes no sense what so ever.

[/quote]

Willis88, God allows suffering and evil in the world in order to bring about a greater good. This is considered a theological "no-brainer." Best example of this is Jesus Christ, Son of God, being tortured and crucified on the cross for us. He was totally innocent, yet suffered unspeakable agony. Yet, by doing so, He redeemed the whole world! (greater good!)

We are so pampered in this culture that we forget that we need to have a Good Friday before we can look for an Easter Sunday. We are to follow Jesus. Where is He? On the Cross!

Jesus calls us all to take up our cross daily and follow Him!

Every pain we suffer, every anxiety we go through, if we offer it up to Him (best way is through His mother's Immaculate Heart), gets stored up in heaven as treasures for us! St. Therese said that the most horrible life on earth will seem no more than a night in a bad hotel once we get to heaven!


#13

This world is not perfect. Otherwise, it would be Heaven. There has to be good and bad so that we have a free choice between the two. True love is freely given, not forced. Thus, true love for God has to be a choice.

Do random bad things happen to good people? Sure. But maybe those are just opportunities for US to be the hand of Christ and attempt to alleviate that suffering. Love your neighbor as yourself.

If the world were just a perfect place with no work to do to bring about the Kingdom, then life would just be one long easy vacation. You wouldn't learn anything about what it means to love.

Gem


#14

suffering is just part of life. it's not a mystery...it's just life.


#15

It is rare that you have no chance to have a relationship with God. In that sense, you aren’t friendless. As for being worthy of love and yet being rejected, God is in that boat with you.

Why does God allows others to reject us? It is for the same reason that God allows any of us to reject him! It is the nature of love that it has to be freely given. He cannot put you in a position to experience being loved by anyone except Himself without putting you in the position to experience rejection, as well. Even the Body of Christ is a work in progress.

When you feel you have been rejected without cause, get close to the Cross. That is the ultimate in the fruitful experience of totally rejection. Remember that God does not guarantee that his beloved will not suffer or experience rejection. What God promises is that we will not go through these things because we follow Him and yet fail to see Him make it into a victory.

I hope that helps.


#16

Hate to "drive-by" post, and I am certainly in NO way attempting to downplay the very real, very agonizing pain and suffering we all sometimes go through, but this thread reminds me of a quote from C.S. Lewis:

"What do people mean when they say `I am not afraid of God because I know He is good'? Have they never even been to a dentist?"

There are a number of times when allowing pain is an act of love.


#17

[quote="Mookus, post:16, topic:211387"]
Hate to "drive-by" post, and I am certainly in NO way attempting to downplay the very real, very agonizing pain and suffering we all sometimes go through, but this thread reminds me of a quote from C.S. Lewis:

"What do people mean when they say `I am not afraid of God because I know He is good'? Have they never even been to a dentist?"

There are a number of times when allowing pain is an act of love.

[/quote]

well, maybe so, but when you were little your parents most likely sent you to the dentist when you had tooth pain, and maybe what the dentist did caused even more pain temporarily, ok fair enough, but if your parents had the power to heal you with a word, wouldn't they? Yes most likely because they love you. God does have that power and rarely uses it, I find that odd.

Further more if temporal suffering is often the result of sin, either by ourselfs and/or others then why is it that people who in my opinion awful people have in their lives friends and succesful relationships? Shouldn't they be suffering some form of temporal suffering from their sins? And yet they don't I also find this odd


#18

God’s not a very comforting friend, however. He’s like the friend that you used to have a good relationship with but suddenly decides to ignore you. You call your friend to see if he/she wants to get together or hang out, but they never answer the phone and you leave a message. They don’t call you back so you assume that by not calling you back, they are in fact answering with a no. That’s how God works. You pray to him and ask for guidance, but never get any kind of response. You can assume that it’s his will that your intention doesn’t happen, but some kind of, I don’t know, sign could occur to at least let us know God simply isn’t ignoring us like the former friend described above.


#19

He doesn't. Who ever said you can't make friends?
that is your choice.


#20

Also, happiness is a state of mind. People can be happy or miserable amongst life's sufferings. You can think positively or negatively in the face of challenge. It's all about your own perceptions.

Also, not getting bitter is a biggy. People who are bitter become miserable and then their suffering is ongoing. People who learn from suffering, move on and keep positive, find happiness and strength.

When I am suffering, I offer it up to God and that really helps. He helps me a lot with my pains. We never have to suffer alone even if we feel isolated.


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