St. Anthony Messenger

Where Was God?

If God was taking care of me when I was in the military and killing people, then why was God not taking care of them at the same time?

Where is God when someone takes a life in self-defense? A just war presumes that soldiers on each side are acting in legitimate self-defense.

Where was God when Cain murdered his brother, Abel? When children are abused by family members, teachers, or members of the clergy? When elderly people are swindled out of their life’s savings?

God’s providence does not guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to someone, but it does guarantee that no one ever falls off God’s radar. Sometimes people use their freedom generously and benefit others (St. Teresa of Kolkata), and all too often other people use their freedom very selfishly and do great harm (Adolf Hitler).

Thornton Wilder’s excellent novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey examines what direct role God did or did not have in a bridge collapse that killed five people.

God created us to share in the divine life of grace and freedom. For various reasons, not everyone does that because they implicitly fear that God’s grace may cramp their human freedom.

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