Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Notes on talk by Bishop Thomas Dowd: Evil, Suffering and Disaster: Where is God?

According to Catechism of the Catholic Church #309,
    If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.
There is no quick answer for this. There are some concepts that we discussed in the talk.

The root of suffering is SIN.

Suffering applies only to Earth Beings (Humans or Animals) and Angelical beings.

We can categories different kinds of Evil (Sin). There are 2 kinds of Evil or sin. They are moral evil and natural evil.

Moral evil only applies to Human or Angel because God gives them free will. The different is that human has a chance to repent his/her sins but not for angel. Angel’s first moral choice will determine if it is a demon or not. The reason is that there is no “time” element in the Angel world.
    Angels do not have man's shortcomings and can therefore act for God and represent Him when communicating with men and women. They bridge the huge gap between the holiness and perfection of God in heaven and the shortcomings of dying people on this planet. Angels were made immortal (that is, never to die). –
There are 2 kinds of Moral sin. They are commission or omission. Sin of commission is to do something wrong under full knowledge on the action. Sin of omission means that we did not do or failed to do what we can or must do.

Natural evil only applies to beings that have a body. There are 2 kinds of Natural evil, they are physical and metaphysical.

Physical evil includes all that causes harm to mankind, i.e. hurricane, HIV virus. It is directly due to nature are sickness, accident, death, etc.

Metaphysical evil is the limitation of human beings. This is things that we are lock on which can be completed by something or someone that God made. God created a world that can be harmony on itself, however, because we sin, our “meta-physical” part does not work. E.g., Hungers are not helped while most of the wealth is hold by first world country. In this case, the metaphysical evil is the hunger and God created us which can help the people to avoid hunger.

The consequences after we sin

There are two consequences when we sin. First is that we hurt ourselves. We hurt our soul. It just like when we get sick. Bishop Tom also mentioned it is not easy to define the word Healthy. We think that we are healthy since we never go to have a body check or we did not see which parts of our body get hurts.

Secondly, sin holds back the improvement of human being. If we look back the last 100 years, we spent too much money, time and man power on wars, weapons or things that hurt the harmony of our society. If we put all the resources on other areas like medical research, Cancer or HIV should be cured long time ago. Buildings won’t be destroyed by earthquake or hurricane. Also, no more poor and hungers! Therefore, sin we made will slow down the progression of human beings and that makes us suffer.

What’s the solution? US, we need to do something about it!!!

Somebody asked if Death is a kind of suffering? It brings to the point that we can think of Dormition/Assumption of Virgin Mary. Dormition means falling asleep. If we have enough faith, we fall asleep in this world and wake up on the other side.

Hope this help. God Bless!

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