Written By: Dr. Dan P. Collins, Sr
This past year I have been pondering the age old question, “why do bad things happen to good people?”. All who have seriously studied have reasoned the answer is to be found in the “spiritus” (spiritual) aspect of man (“the soul”) rather than the profain (“material”) aspect. A course on the Sapiential Books of the Bible (ie. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon…) given by Father Joseph Korterski, S.J., of Georgetown was informative and all pointed to the love and fear of God as the beginning of wisdom. Fear in not the fear of a slave, but an acknowledgement of the enormous discrepancy between God’s omnipotence and our total dependency. Wisdom “resplendent” comes with “solicitude” to Job: God has reasons but has no responsibility to explain himself.
In my quest, probably as a result of my limitations, two sources provide greater satisfaction. One is a poem I will attach. The other four words from a Third Century theologian. Irenaeus’s concept of the redemptive tutelage of suffering. Meditating on suffering as a tutor or a teacher that promotes redemption brings insight.
Suffering requires an increase in faith and hope; promotes virtues of Patience, Perseverance, Humility and above all Love… “The fulfillment of the Law.” Seen in this dimension suffering is the reason itself.
The poem “The Silversmith” makes this point in a more artistic way.
[poem to be inserted here]