In the wake of tragedy one often wonders whether God has allowed this or that suffering as a chastisement. This notion often meets with vehement disapproval or a tacit acceptance that can seem void of meaning. I’ve wondered about this, and I came to the conclusion that God does not allow a tragedy for the chastisement of one person or of even a few. When God allows some tragedy he does so according to his all knowing plan for the salvation of man kind. When we consider the interconnection of everything that God does we can see that there cannot be one reason for any one thing that happens. Everything that happens is connected and there are thus a thousand or a million reasons for everything that happens according to the mind of God. Of course we can’t know the mind of God, how he intends for us to suffer and the things that he does or allows to that end. But it might be helpful to consider that it is possible to be chastised by God without somehow taking the full brunt of some tragedy onto oneself. We need to accept God’s chastisements for whatever they mean in the particularity of our lives. We too often create a straw man saying “God could never allow such a thing because he is loving.” But the reality is that God does allow suffering in our lives even at times in the form of tragedy. This does not mean that God would seek to saddle us with the full weight of some tragic event, but it does mean that he intends to allow suffering in our lives for our good and the good of others. Any one thing that happens might have a thousand or a million causes and a thousand or a million effects, and God is taking all of this into consideration in his plans. It is not for us to fear God’s love by isolating one of a million reasons and making it the only cause or the only effect. The causes and effects that we need to worry about are the ones that God desires to communicate to our hearts in the personal relationship we have with him. God is speaking to us in the depths of our being concerning these matters if we would only listen. Allowing God to chastise us will alleviate our suffering as we become acquainted with his plan for us. Even a small insight into his plans for our welfare will give us great joy and consolation as we attempt to offer back to him with gratitude the sufferings he intends for us.
Mother of Sorrows, Pray for us