Suffering is one of the most challenging and inescapable mysteries of life — even for the innocent. Thinkers have long been vexed by the idea that a good God permits suffering, and it has been a stumbling block for many souls striving to live lives of faith.
But what if we’ve been looking at suffering improperly all this time? What if, instead of serving as evidence against God, suffering represented the very proof of a loving God?
In this transformative and enlightening book, Dr. Paul Chaloux — adjunct professor of theology at the Catholic University of America — demonstrates that suffering is not retribution from an angry, vengeful God but the saving action of a loving God who directs us away from evil and toward eternal joy in Heaven.
Educated in his own “school of suffering,” Dr. Chaloux explains the four tasks of suffering that are essential in the economy of salvation and why, if suffering were to be abolished, no one would be saved. Using well-known stories from Scripture and the lives of the saints, he explains numerous other aspects of God’s use of evil and suffering in His plan for our salvation, including:
- How suffering is not a punishment from God but a gift to the guilty and the innocent alike
- Why suffering is not evil but rather an “evil-detector”
- Why suffering needs to be harsh and persistent to protect and perfect us
- How to recognize and respond joyfully to God’s call in the face of loss, disability, injury, illness, and death
- How we are acting as messengers of God when we witness to our own suffering