By Mary Ann Budnik
"MY GOD, MY GOD, why hast thou forsaken me?" How often do these words of Scripture come to mind when sorrow and suffering strike? A lost job, a sick child, death in the family, financial setbacks, a problem marriage, or chronic illness can all find us turning to God with tears in our eyes and anguish in our hearts. Many of us were taught as children that everything that happens to us has a divine purpose, including pain and suffering. But how hard it often is to see God's love and providence in pain!
The Church teaches us that pain and suffering came into the world as a consequence of original sin. This should cause us to ponder the seriousness of sin, which today is often taken so lightly. Sins that St. Paul said must not even be mentioned are condoned and encouraged in our society. Yet one sin by Adam, only one offense against God, plunged the whole world into darkness and suffering. One sin changed Paradise into "a vale of tears." That one sin lies behind all the suffering known to mankind. It is the reason we die. It causes war, poverty, sickness and natural disasters.
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