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Ask A Franciscan: Is God Missing in Action?

What do you think about the absence of God in times of crisis? I do not understand why God chooses to kill his creatures with pain, desolation, isolation, and all kinds of abuse, misery, and injustice instead of changing the circumstances.

Why doesn’t God Almighty answer those prayers? Why are there more martyrs? How can we continue believing that God is going to appear someday and help us to overcome our situation, after years and years of abuse and injustice, and after doing what we are supposed to do as Christians?

God is God, and no one else is. Has God assigned to anyone a certain amount of pain, desolation, isolation, abuse, misery, or injustice? No. Aren’t these things the result of people abusing their God-given human freedom?

Our prayers do not supply information or a sense of urgency that God lacks. Our prayers open us up more widely to God’s grace and its action within human lives.

Human suffering afflicts people who believe in Jesus Christ and those who do not. The fact that some people suffer greatly does not prove that God is indifferent to suffering but only that humans all too often refuse to do what they can to alleviate that suffering.