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Letter: Why do some people suffer? And what is our role?

12:19 PM, Aug. 15, 2013  |  Comments
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EDITOR: Why are some people afflicted while others have a good time? Is it a matter of merit? Are the poor of Haiti being punished for their sins with famine, earthquake and hurricane? Which one of us has not at some time thought, "Why me?" about things on a smaller scale that happen to us?

I wonder about this also.

Maybe there is no answer.

I asked the chaplain at Saint Michael's Hospital why some were in the hospital while others never needed it. He answered that it "seems to be random." It seems that way to me most of the time as well, and Jesus said, "The same rain that falls on the good falls on the wicked." This seems to me like a break with Old Testament thinking, wherein affliction often was specially sent on those who departed from the will of God.

But sometimes we do create our own problems. I recommend Thornton Wilder's excellent novel, "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" on these issues to anyone who isn't afraid of the Inquisition.

We are supposed to be here to relieve all this suffering in our global village, and The Catholic Worker, founded by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day, says, "We need to make this a world where it is easier for people to be good."

Why do some people and some places suffer? It is a mystery.

We must help them.

Richard Kovac,

Stevens Point

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