Dear friends and beloved readers,
I hope as the children prepare to go back to school that you have had a great summer, and look forward to an even greater autumn. Today instead of a poem, or a piece of my novel – they will follow soon, I offer a few other reflections that I hope you find useful.
For I was challenged by a person recently by a question that is frequently put to me today: why does God allow our suffering?,My answer was, because of our human freedom, a more precious good. If God controlled everything we’d be puppets of an all-controlling God. That would greatly impair our dignity, and the choice we made at the fall, which is really and on-going one, to enjoy both good and evil without divine interference. And there’s a positive in that, for if we choose good, or work for it, then we have greater reward. Indeed, all God can do is persuade us to follow the way to happiness, deepen us by grace to endure all, and suffer with us and for us as Christ did; we are never alone. That’s why a scientific study showed that evolution favors those of faith, and those with faith in hospital are more likely to recover and recover more quickly.
Also we would be without the challenge of soul-making and spiritual deepening that suffering brings, whereby, as scripture says we are “refined like gold in a furnace” (Book of Wisdom). For as the poet Keats says “life is a vale of soul-making”, and the main way that is done is through proving our faith and love through all the trials and sufferings of life, like Christ; fair weather faith, like fair weather friends, is no faith at all; I’ll believe in you if you do everything I ask, and solve all my problems for me. But where would that leave our freedom and our dignity. So I hope that helps.
This also made me reflect on the role of the church. And why governments should promote the church above all, for it cares for the health of the most precious part of us, our immortal souls unto eternal life. It carries out the most important function of all, to build up the spiritual and moral health of society. And that’s all that counts in the long run- though all of us of course have something vital to do also while on earth, But in the long run the values of the world of which Satan is Lord, pass away and leave us empty here and on the shore of eternity, but Christ is Lord of truth, beauty, goodness, happiness and Life ,forever and ever.
I was listening to a program on the philosopher Socrates recently, and he said, even before Christ, that we need to be protected against corrosive evils that destroy the soul, and make it unfit for a full life here, let alone for a happy eternity. The church offsets that, protects and nourishes us with the saving grace of Christ and by being the body of Christ, until we are restored to full inner wholeness and human dignity here, and flower at last into untold eternal glory.
Next week another few words, and poem, and a further episode of “The Island”. In the meantime every happiness to you and all my beloved readers.
God bless you,