The World's Worst Catholic™ Explains Why God Allows Requires Pain and Suffering
Our grandaughter was born with a sacrococcogeal teratoma which necessitated a helicopter ride to a surgery center for removal of the tumor and, as there was a germ cell malignancy found in the liver, she had to undergo chemotherapy for the first 9 months of her life. This left her bald, sick and continually in the hospital to deal with urinary tract infections and pneumonia resulting from her compromised immune system. She has been in remission for 6 years but the surgery has left her incontinent, without muscle mass around her sphincter and nerve damage to her bladder. The tumor displaced her hip so surgery and a spica cast were required to realign her hip. So each day is a continual round of medications to bolster her kidney function and laxitives and immodium to try to time her bowel movements so that she is more or less (mostly less) socially continent. She has also developed mild epileptic seizures that require medication and a regimen of high calorie foods to maintain her weight. But, all in all, she's a happy, well adjusted kid. Things have stabilized to the point where we only have to drive the 150 miles to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia a few times a year. Once a year we have a followup for the cancer survivors program in the oncology wing. It's a tough trip.
Thanks, Pope, I feel much better now. Next time I see a bald, sick unto death, bewildered four year old with a port in his chest in the oncology wing I'll remember that human suffering is all part of God's love for us. Without it we would face eternal suffering. Or when I see a 20 year old athlete with an inoperable brain tumor barely able to move from the combined effects of radiation and chemo I'll tell her, " Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? Yet not one will fall to the ground apart from you Father's will." A little transcription error here, a stray neutino there, a modest mutation in a regulatory sequence. All part of the Big Guy's master plan. Doomed to a short agonizing life with an incurable birth defect because your parents follow the Church teaching that a merciful abortion is a mortal sin? Well, that's all God's will.
If I weren't such a spiritual fellow, and having seen children in all stages of disease and disability, I would almost think that there really isn't any purpose to this pain and suffering. That a transcription error is just a transcription error, a stray neutrino is just a stray neutrino, the sparrow just gets sick and dies and shit just happens. If I weren't such a spiritual person I would almost think that a person's time would be better spent volunteering at the local hospital than praying and contributing weekly to Doctors Without Borders or the Ronald McDonald House than dumping those bucks in the collection plate. If I weren't such a spiritual person I'd almost think Benedict and the Church are full of shit and lionizing suffering is a weak argument designed to give meaning to something that has none and to perpetuate a superstition who's only rationale is its own existence. If I weren't such a spiritual person I would almost think that, if there is a God, he's asleep, dead or just doesn't care and all we really have are each other. If I weren't such a spiritual person, that is.