Why does God Let this Happen?

(posted: August 1 2020)

Why does God Let this Happen?

(Covid 19 Reflection #5)
Dorothy Day in 1934

God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
(Genesis 1:31)

The poor you will always have with you.
(Matthew 26: 11)

As I write this, some of Ontario is in Stage 3 of the covid 19 re-opening plan while the rest of us remain in Stage 2. It’s becoming a long, long summer. It is heart wrenching to hear of suffering and death caused by the pandemic. Some of it is close to home and some far away, but it’s all right there on television and in the media. On a bad day, one might be tempted to ask God, “Why?” “Why is this pandemic hurting so many innocent people?”

Recently I read an online article written by Kate Bowler and published by uscatholic.org. The title intrigued me: “Not Everything Happens for a Reason”. Ms Bowler, who suffers from Stage 4 cancer, discounts the prosperity gospel message that we get what we deserve because our faith is or isn’t strong enough. Instead, she speaks of Servant of God Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and a great advocate for the poor:

“Dorothy Day is someone I find incredibly inspiring on this topic
because she doesn’t try to meet suffering with anything other than to say
it is the human condition and that we are living inside of precarity –
anything we have can be given or taken away.
Day’s solution is not to imagine that we can escape our circumstances,
but instead to learn to live beautifully inside of them.
Everything she experienced – poverty, structural and racial injustice and more –
she never described as anything for which Christianity had an escape button.
I find traditions like hers to be deeply rich right now.
They don’t offer a solution but do offer the promise of God’s presence
and of community inside of suffering.”

God, who created all things good, invites us, in our Vincentian vocation, to be agents of good, to do what we can as individuals and collectively to alleviate poverty and suffering where we live. We are the kind of community that Servant of God Dorothy Day worked for. Certainly, a pandemic is a most difficult time, but with God’s help we can live our motto SERVIENS IN SPE – to serve in hope. Stay well, stay joy-filled! Denise

Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee