Father Joe Waters

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I have a friend who is faith-filled, kind-hearted to everyone, and a wonderful mother. She has recently been dealing with some serious health issues, and I wonder why bad things happen to good people?

None of us, even the good person, is exempt from suffering. Suffering is a part of the human condition because of sin, our sins, and the sins of the world. However, by his passion, death, and resurrection, Christ enabled us to participate in his work of redemption. By embracing suffering in faith, we can conquer it and be victorious. For Christians suffering is an opportunity to be united with Christ, purify oneself from sin, and contribute to the world's salvation.

Perhaps one of the reasons God allows good people to suffer is to give an example to others. I have always been inspired by how holy people accept their share of human suffering in faith-filled joy. One of the most significant assurances of life eternal is the enduring power of faith. Only faith allows one to endure suffering without losing hope and remain grateful to God for his many blessings. When Christians unite their sufferings to Christ's Cross, they witness to the Kingdom of God, perhaps in the most powerful way possible. Even the holiest Saints suffered, and because did we have great examples of the redemptive power of human suffering when it is united with the sufferings of Christ.

Father Joe Waters is Judicial Vicar and Censor Librorum of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

If you have a question you would like us to consider for this series, email communicate@dosp.org.