Why does God allow suffering?


For the whole of this year my family have been living an horrendous nightmare. We are suffering a complete injustice. God knows we are innocent and I pray and pray for God to put things right for us but still no change.
I’m new to the catholic faith (used to be a Baptist) but entered a catholic church in October and have found peace and strength, I feel drawn to Mother Mary and plead or her to pray for us, but my question is, why is God allowing this suffering, does He truly answer prayer? I get told to trust in God but sometimes I find this hard. Am I not praying properly. Oh please can someone advise me, I’d be ever so grateful.Thankyou.


God does answer prays. Sometimes it may seem like He is not answering our prayers, but it is not because He wants us to suffer, God loves us.

For example, when children get Chickenpox, what do we have to tell them? “Do not scratch!” Now to a child they are wondering why? Does my parent want me to sit here with this itch? If only they would let me scratch it, the itch would go away.

The parent knows better though. Even though at times we want something, God knows better. I have no idea what the suffering is that you are going through, but you seem to be going about it the right way.

Do not blame God, but rather pray as Jesus did, “Father, if you are willing, remove this chalice from me; nonetheless not my will, but yours, be done” Luke 22:42

Also, continue to ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for you. You and your family will get through it.


*The Value of Suffering *

A sermon by St. Alphonsus Liguori on the advantages of tribulations.

"Now when John had heard of the wonderful works of Christ," etc. Mat. 11:2.

IN tribulations God enriches his beloved souls with the greatest graces. Behold, St. John in his chains comes to the knowledge of the works of Jesus Christ: "When John had heard in prison the works of Christ." Great indeed are the advantages of tribulations. The Lord sends them to us, not because he wishes our misfortune, but because he desires our welfare. Hence, when they come upon us we must embrace them with thanks giving, and must not only resign ourselves to the divine will, but must also rejoice that God treats us as he treated his Son Jesus Christ, whose life, upon this earth was always full of tribulation. I shall now show, in the first point, the advantages we derive from tribulations; and in the second, I shall point out the manner in which we ought to bear them.

First Point. On the great advantages we derive from tribulations.

  1. "What doth he know that had not been tried? A man that hath much experience shall think of many things, and he that hath learned many things shall show forth understanding." (Eccl. 34:9) They who live in prosperity, and have no experience of adversity, know nothing of the state of their souls. In the first place, tribulation opens the eyes which prosperity had kept shut. St. Paul remained blind after Jesus Christ appeared to him, and, during his blindness, he perceived the errors in which he lived. During his imprisonment in Babylon, King Man asses had recourse to God, was convinced of the malice of his sins, and did penance for them. "And after that he was in distress he prayed to the Lord his God, and did penance exceedingly before the God of his fathers." (2 Paral. 33:12) The prodigal, when he found himself under the necessity of feeding swine, and afflicted with hunger, exclaimed: "I will arise and go to my father." (Luke 15:18)

Secondly, tribulation takes from our hearts all affections to earthly things. When a mother wishes to wean her infant she puts gall on the paps, to excite his disgust, and induce him to take better food. God treats us in a similar manner : to detach us from temporal goods, he mingles them with gall, that by tasting its bitterness, we may conceive a dislike for them, and place our affections on the things of Heaven. "God," says St. Augustine, "mingles bitterness with earthly pleasures, that we may seek another felicity, whose sweetness does not deceive." (Ser. 29., de Verb. Dom.)

Thirdly, they who live in prosperity are molested by many temptations of pride, of vain-glory; of desires of acquiring greater wealth, great honors, and greater pleasures. Tribulations free us from these temptations, and make us humble and content in the state in which the Lord has placed us. Hence the Apostle says: "We are chastised by the Lord that we may not be condemned with this world." (1 Cor. 11:32)

  1. Fourthly, by tribulation we atone for the sins we have committed much better than by voluntary works of penance. "Be assured," says St. Augustine, "that God is a physician, and that tribulation is a salutary medicine." Oh! how great is the efficacy of tribulation in healing the wounds caused by our sins! Hence, the same saint rebukes the sinner who complains of God for sending him tribulations. "Why," he says, "do you complain? What you suffer is a remedy, not a punishment." (In Ps. 55) Job called those happy men whom God corrects by tribulation; because he heals them with the very hands with which he strikes and wounds them. "Blessed is the man whom God correcteth. . . . For he woundeth and cureth. He striketh, and his hand shall heal." (Job 5:17-18) Hence, St. Paul gloried in his tribulations: "we glory also in tribulation" (Rom. 5:3)

  2. Fifthly, by convincing us that God alone is able and willing to relieve us in our miseries, tribulations remind us of him, and compel us to have recourse to his mercy. "In their affliction they will rise early to me." (Osee 6:1) Hence, addressing the afflicted, the Lord said: "Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you." (Matt. 11:28) Hence he is called "a helper in troubles." (Ps. 45:1) "When," says David, "he slew them, then they sought him, and they returned." (Ps. 77:34) When the Jews were afflicted, and were slain by their enemies, they remembered the Lord, and returned to him.

  3. Sixthly, tribulations enable us to acquire great merits before God, by giving us opportunities of exercising the virtues of humility, of patience, and of resignation to the divine will. The venerable John d Ayila used to say, that a single blessed be God: in adversity, is worth more than a thousand acts in prosperity. "Take away," says St. Ambrose, "the contests of the martyrs, and you have taken away their crowns."
    (In Luc., c. iv.) Oh! what a treasure of merit is acquired by patiently bearing insults, poverty, and sickness! Insults from men were the great objects of the desires of the saints, who sought to be despised for the love of Jesus Christ, and thus to be made like unto him.

  4. How great is the merit gained by bearing with the inconvenience of poverty. "My God and my all," says St. Francis of Assisi: in expressing this sentiment, he enjoyed more of true riches than all the princes of the Earth. How truly has St. Teresa said, that "the less we have here, the more we shall enjoy hereafter." Oh! how happy is the man who can say from his heart: My Jesus, thou alone art sufficient for me! If, says St. Chrysostom, you esteem yourself unhappy because you are poor, you are indeed miserable and deserving of tears; not because you are poor, but because, being poor, you do not embrace your poverty, and esteem yourself happy." "Sane dignus es lachrymis ob hoc, quod miserum te extimas, non ideo quod pauper es." (Serin, ii., Epis. ad Phil.)

  1. By bearing patiently with the pains of sickness, a great, and perhaps the greater, part of the crown which is prepared for us in Heaven is completed. The sick sometimes complain that in sickness they can do no thing; but they err; for, in their infirmities they can do all things, by accepting their sufferings with peace and resignation. "The Cross of Christ," says St. Chrysostom, "is the key of Paradise." (Com. in Luc. de vir.)

  2. St. Francis de Sales used to say. "To suffer constantly for Jesus is the science of the saints; we shall thus soon become saints." It is by sufferings that God proves his servants, and finds them worthy of himself. "God hath tried them, and found them worthy of Himself." (Wis. 3:5) "Whom," says St. Paul, "the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." (Heb. 12:6) Hence, Jesus Christ once said to St. Teresa: "Be assured that the souls dearest to my Father are those who suffer the greatest afflictions." Hence Job said : "If we have received good things at the hand of God, why should we not receive evil?" (Job. 2:10) If we have gladly received from God the goods of this Earth, why should we not receive more cheerfully tribulations, which are far more useful to us than worldly prosperity? St. Gregory informs us that, as flame fanned by the wind increases, so the soul is made perfect when she is oppressed by tribulations. "Ignis flatu premitur, ut crescat." (Ep. 25.)

  3. To holy souls the most severe afflictions are the temptations by which the Devil impels them to offend God: but they who bear these temptations with patience, and banish them by turning to God for help, shall acquire great merit. "And," says St. Paul, "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will also make issue with the temptation that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13) God permits us to be molested by temptations, that, by banishing them, we may gain greater merit. "Blessed," says the Lord, "are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matt. 5:5) They are blessed, because, according to the Apostle, our tribulations are momentary and very light, compared with the greatness of the glory which they shall obtain for us for eternity in Heaven. "For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17)

  4. It is necessary, then, says St. Chrysostom, to bear tribulations in peace; for, if you accept them with resignation, you shall gain great merit; but if you submit to them with reluctance, you shall increase, instead of diminishing, your misery "Si vero segre feras, neque calamitatum minorem facies, et majorem reddes procellam" (Hom. 64., ad Pop.) If we wish to be saved, we must submit to trials. "Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:21) A great servant of God used to say, that Paradise is the place of the poor, of the persecuted, of the humble and afflicted. Hence St. Paul says: "Patience is necessary for you, that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise." (Heb. 10:36) Speaking of the tribulations of the saints, St. Cyprian asks "What are they to the servants of God, whom Paradise invites?" (Ep, ad Demetr.) Is it much for those to whom the eternal goods of Heaven are promised, to embrace the short afflictions of this life?

  5. In fine, the scourges of Heaven are sent not for our injury, but for our good. "Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord, with which, like servants, we are chastised, have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction." (Judith 8:27) "God," says St. Augustine, "is angry when he does not scourge the sinner." (In Ps. 89) When we see a sinner in tribulation in this life, we may infer that God wishes to have mercy on him in the next, and that he exchanges eternal for temporal chastisement. But miserable the sinner whom the Lord does not punish in this life! For those whom he does not chastise here, he treasures up his wrath, and for them he reserves eternal chastisement.

  6. "Why," asks the Prophet Jeremias, "doth the way of the wicked prosper?" – 12:1. Why, Lord, do sinners prosper? To this the same prophet answers: "Gather them together as sheep for a sacrifice, and prepare them for the day of slaughter." (ib. v. 3.) As on the day of sacrifice the sheep intended for slaughter are gathered together, so the impious, as victims of divine wrath, are destined to eternal death. "Destine them," says Du Hamel, in his commentary on this passage, "as victims of thy anger on the day of sacrifice."

  7. When, then, God sends us tribulations, let us say with Job: "I have sinned, and indeed I have offended, and I have not received what I have deserved." (Job 33:27) O Lord, my sins merit far greater chastisement than that which thou hast inflicted on me. We should even pray with St. Augustine, "Burn cut spare not in this life, that thou mayest spare for eternity." How frightful is the chastisement of the sinner of whom the Lord says: "Let us have pity on the wicked, but he will not learn justice." (Is. 26:10) Let us abstain from chastising the impious: as long as they remain in this life they will continue to live in sin, and shall thus be punished with eternal torments. On this passage St. Bernard says: "Misericordiam hanc nolo, super omnem iram miseratio ista." (Serin, 42., in Cant.) Lord, I do not wish for such mercy, which is a chastisement that surpasses all chastisements.

  8. The man whom the Lord afflicts in this life has a certain proof that he is dear to God. "And," said the angel to Tobias, "because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptations should prove thee." (Tob. 12:13) Hence, St. James pronounces blessed the man who is afflicted: because after he shall have been proved by tribulation, he will receive the crown of life." (Jam. 1:12).

  1. He who wishes to share in the glory of the saints, must suffer in this life as the saints have suffered. None of the saints has been esteemed or treated well by the world all of them have been despised and persecuted. In them have been verified the words of the Apostle: “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3:12.) Hence St. Augustine said, that they who are unwilling to suffer persecutions, have not as yet begun to be Christians. “Si putas non habere persecutiones, nondum csepisti esse Christianus.” (In Ps. 55) When we are in tribulation, let us be satisfied with the consolation of knowing that the Lord is then near us and in our company. “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart.” (Ps. 33:19) “I am with him in tribulation.” (Ps. 90:15).

Second Point. On the manner in which we should bear tribulations.

  1. He who suffers tribulations in this world, should, in the first place, abandon sin, and endeavor to recover tyhe grace of God; for, as long as he remains in sin, the merit ofall his sufferings is lost. “If”, says St. Paul, “I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” - I. Cor., xiii. 3. If you suffered all the torments of the martyrs, or bore to be burned alive, and were notin the state of grace, it would profit you nothing.

  1. But, to those who can suffer with God, and with resignation for God's sake, all their tribulations shall be a source of comfort and gladness. "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy" - John, xvi. 20. Hence, after having been insulted and neaten by the Jews, the apostles departed from the council full of jo because they ahd been maltreated for the love of Jesus Christ. "And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach forthe name ofJesus" - Acts, v. 41. Hence, when God visits us with any tribulations, we must say with Jesus Christ: "The chalice which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it? - John, xviii. 11. It isnecessary to know that every tribulation, though it may come from men, is sent to us by God.

  2. When we are surounded on all sides with tribulations, and know notwhat to do, we must turn to God, who alone can console us. Thus King Josaphat, in his distress, said to the Lord: "As we know not what to do, we can only turn our eyes to thee" - II. Par., xx. 12. Thus David also in his tribulation had recourse to God, and God consoled him: "In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and he heard me" - Ps. cxix. 1. We should turn to God, and pray to him, and never cease to pray till he hears us. "As the eyes of the handmaid are on the hand of her mistress, so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He have mercy on us" - Ps., cxxii. 2. We must keep our eyes continually raised to God, and must continue to implore His aid, until He is moved to compassion for our miseries. We must have great confidence in the heart of Jesus Christ, and ought not to imitate certain persons, who instantly lose courage because they do not feel they are heard as soon as they begin to pray. To them may be applied the words of the Saviour to St. Peter: "O thou of little faith! why didst thou doubt?! - Mat., xiv.31. When the favours which we ask are spiritual, or can be profitable to our souls, we should be certain of being heard, provided we persevere in prayer, and do not lose confidence. "All things, whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come unto you" - Mark, xi. 24. In tribulations, then, we should never cease hopes with confidence that the divine mercy will console us; and if our afflictions continue, we must say with Job: "Although he should kill me, I will trust in him" - xiii. 15.

  3. Souls of little faith, instead of turning to God in their tribulaions, have recourse to human means, and thus provoke God's anger, and remain in their miseries. "Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that uild it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it" - Ps., cxxvi. 1. On this passage St. Augustine writes: "ipse aedificat, ipse intellectum aperit, ipse ad finem applicat sensum vestrum: et tamen laboramus et nos tanquam operarii, sed nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem", etc. All good-all help must come from the Lord. Without Him, creatures can give us no assistance.

  4. Of this the Lord complains by the mouth of his prophet: "Is not", he says, "the Lord in Sion?...Why then have they provoked me to wrath, with their idols?...Is there no balm in Galaad? or is there no physician there? Why then is not the wound of the daughter of my people closed?-Jer., viii. 19, 22. Am I not in sion? Why then do men provoke me to anger by recurring to creatures, which they convert into idolsby placing in them all their hopes? Do they seek a remedy for their miseries? Why do they not seek it in Galaad, a mountain full of balsamic ointments, which signify the divine mercy? There they can find the physician and the remedy of all their evils. Why then, says the Lord, do your wounds remain open? Why are they not healed? It is because you have recourse not to me, but ot creatures, and because you confide in them, and not in me.

  5. In another place the Lord says: "Am I become a wilderness to Israel, or a lateward springling land? Why then have my people said: We are revolted; we will come to thee no more?...But my people have forgotten medays without number" - Jer., ii. 31, 32. God complains, and says: Why, my shildren, do you say that you will have recourse to me no more? Am I become to you are barren land, which gives no fruit, or gives it to late? Is it for this reason that you have so long forgotten me? By these words he manifests to us his desire that we pray to him, in order that he may be able to give us his graces; and he also gives us to understand that, when we pray to him, he is not slow, but instantly begins to assist us.

  6. The Lord, says David, is not asleep when we turn to his goodness, and ask the graces which are profitable to our souls: he hears us immediately, because he is anxious for our welfare. "Behold, he shall neither slumber nor sleep that keepeth Israel" - Ps., cxx. 4. When we pray fortemporal favours, St. Bernard says that God "will give what we ask, or somethingmore useful". He will grant us the grace which we desire, whenever it is profitable to our souls; or he will give us a more useful grace, such as the grace to resign ourselves to the divine will, and to suffer with patience our tribulations, which shall merit a great increase of glory in Heaven.

Also read this: tfp.org/tfp-home/plinio-correa-de-oliveira/fatima-and-the-necessity-of-suffering.html


People suffer only because people are too inclined and busy attending to themselves rather than each other. God will end suffering when people learn better.

In what manner are you suffering?



Most suffering is caused by people’s uncharitable actions or negligence

Jesus who was wrongly accused of blasphemy and deception,
Please grant justice to those who are wrongfully accused or judged.
Against all the false evidence, let them be swiftly cleared.

Please allow Your Holy Spirit to convey truth that shines overwhelmingly clear,
despite public opinion and before the accusations of others,
however convincing or supported by false evidence.

Jesus let false accusations be put aside, so that good people can live in peace and freedom. Grant healing to those whose lives and health and finances have been damaged by false witness.

Thank You God of love, truth and justice.


To share in His suffering on the Cross


offer it to Him and He will use it to help sinners or souls in purgatory.

Someday, God will take all suffering away… it’s not part of His original plan for the world. It’s the result of sin. But He can use it, if we let Him.


“In order to heal us, He does not remain outside the suffering that is experienced, He eases it by coming to dwell with the one stricken by illness, to bear it and to live with him. Christ’s presence comes to break the isolation which pain induces. Man no longer bears his burden alone. As a suffering member of Christ, he is conformed to Christ in his self-offering to the Father.”
Pope Benedict

"My daughter, know that if I allow you to feel and have a more profound knowledge of My sufferings, that is a grace from Me. But when your mind is dimmed and your sufferings are great, it is then that you take an active part in My Passion, and I am conforming you more fully to Myself. It is your task to submit yourself to My will at such time, more than at others… "
Jesus to St. Faustina

"The everlasting God has
in His wisdom foreseen
from eternity the cross
that He now presents to you
as a gift from His inmost heart.

This cross He now sends you
He has considered with His all-knowing eyes,
understood with His divine mind,
tested with His wise justice,
warmed with loving arms
and weighed with His own hands
to see that it be not one inch too large
and not one ounce too heavy for you.

He has blessed it with His holy Name,
anointed it with His consolation,
taken one last glance at you
and your courage,
and then sent it to you from heaven,

a special greeting from God to you,
an alms of the all-merciful love of God."

(St Francis de Sales)


St Gemma:

"Jesus once said to me: “Do you know, daughter, for what reason I send crosses to souls dear to me? I desire to possess their souls, entirely, and for this I surround them with crosses, and I enclose them in sufferings and tribulation, that they may not escape from my hands; and for this I scatter thorns, that souls may fasten their affections upon no one, but find all content in Me alone. My daughter, if you do not feel the cross it cannot be called a cross. Be sure that under the cross you will not be lost. The demon has no strength against those souls who for My love groan under the cross. 0 My daughter, how many would have abandoned Me if they had not been crucified. The cross is a gift too precious, and from it come many virtues.”

I prayed then to Jesus that He would not concede to me any grace except that of loving Him very much, and Jesus said: “Oh soul dear to me, if you truly love Me, behold My chalice; you can drink it to the last drop. On this chalice I have placed My lips, and I want you to drink it.” I told Jesus to do with me as He would. And then He said to me: “I have sent this cross to you, you do not appreciate it; rather it is contrary to your desire, but the more it is contrary, the more it is like Mine. Would it not seem to you a dreadful thing to see a father in the midst of sorrow and the children enjoying themselves? When I shall be your Spouse of blood, I will come to you, but crucified; show your love to me as I have shown it toward you, and do you know how? By suffering, pains, and crosses without number. You ought, therefore, to consider yourself honored, if I lead you on paths hard and painful; if I permit that you be tormented by the demon, that the world despise you, that persons most dear to you afflict you, and with daily martyrdom, I permit your soul to be purified and tested. And you, daughter, think only of practicing great virtue; run in the path of the Divine Will, humbled, assured, that if I hold you to the cross, I love you.”


Lord, thank you for St. Alphonsus’ sermon on the advantages of tribultaions. I pray that the Original Poster understands this treasure we have in suffering now and knows that you do everything you do because you love us and want us in heaven with you for all eternity. May the Original Poster keep in mind that you answer all of our prayers that are for our spiritual benefit; but sometimes in ways so lofty, as to be hidden. Amen.


You have received some great answers to your question. St John Vianney said, “Almighty God sends no consolation without suffering.” He also said, “Our greatest cross is the fear of crosses.” I can only pray that God helps you to bear your burdens and send you comfort and help when you need it …

Hail Mary
full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.


Praying hard for your suffering to end.


I Just want to say a big big heartfelt thankyou to you all for all your replies, and helping me to gain alittle more insight. Thankyou everybody. xx


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