On a day such as this one – September 11 – people often wonder: Why does God allow suffering?
The Late Bishop H.G. Paulose Mar Gregorios, was asked by a student, following a speech he gave on December 29, 1987 during the MGOCSM Annual Conference, “Why should God who is goodness and love, allow all distress, sufferings, hunger, famine, nakedness, wickedness and peril in this world?”
The bishop replied. (A piece of what he said.)
“I cannot give a definite and satisfying answer. But I surmise as follows.
“God created the Universe and everything including man. It is moving towards Heaven, its final Goal of perfection and of being with God.
“It is like a massive Symphony Orchestra. The 6000 million players and what is there in the Universe as animate and inanimate things with their different instruments (features or personalities or character) are playing on the stage to the tunes and signs of the creator-conductor.
“The sounds produced from the bowed, wood, wind, brass, and percussion instruments of all kinds are there. Some are shrill. Some bass, some barking, some cooing, some hooting, some loud, some very low and so on. They are pop, jazz or rock. Each one separately may be disgusting, distasteful, nauseating and others unappreciable. But together they form the most celestial music. It is the music of the Universe: music of the conductor: God.
“After each session the orchestra makes the music more and more better and move to perfection.
“Similarly man and the Universe after each performance or moment of existence move towards its perfection, which is its end. This end is the life with God in Heaven.
In this orchestra all kinds of instruments of tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, wickedness, adultery are all necessary just as much as their opposites. Darkness and light are both creations of God. Without darkness we cannot know what is light. Evil is necessary to know what is good.
“I bring both blessings and disaster” Isaiah 45:7. So hard things and sufferings are also from God. See John 4:6,7. God created a leafy plant over Jona’s head to protect him. But he also created a worm to eat it away.
“God is love. God is good. God created everything in this world. Everything he created is good. The good people and saints are as much needed as the wicked and the bad. For Him all these are necessary to move his much loved sons to perfection. For Him none of these are bad. Jesus does not condemn even the woman caught in adultery. John 8:11. Each one of his creations has a role to play in the orchestra.
“All the wickedness and sufferings are created as challenges to man to overcome them. All of us perceive, understand and try to solve all these sufferings and wickedness and thus by step-by-step move forward in our march to perfection. So whatever we find as bad around us is our hurdle and stepping-stone to heaven for those who want to go there. And God wants everyone to be there.”
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