Questions of Faith
Across the world,
people are asking, "Why God, did You allow
massacre of 27 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary
20 little innocent children slaughtered. Why?
Here are two letters received concerning this
atrocity along with answers for you:
Every funeral I have attended, the priest says
"GOD has asked
for your loved one to come home to Him".
In other words He (God) decides when your time is up. So today
12-14-12, in Newtown, Connecticut, 20 children under age 10 were
senselessly killed by a deranged 20 year old at the Sandy Hook
Elementary School. Now are you telling me GOD wanted all of
them to die today? I truly have questioned my faith as a
Catholic for quite sometime now, and as I am a father, this
tragedy has me sick to my stomach believing the priests all my
life of 44 years now, that GOD chooses your destiny. My faith
is gone, leaning more towards the Alien intervention than a god.
44 years of senseless prayers & beliefs just make me sick. All
my life long beliefs were smashed today. So did GOD want all
these kids killed today? Or were the words from every priest at
every funeral I have been to a big fat lie? - Please try to
help me comprehend this... Tony
On December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, a young man
named Adam Lanza entered a school and killed 20 children and 6
adults as well as his mother and later himself. Twenty-seven
souls were thrust into the presence of God by Adam Lanza's act.
Such a tragedy is too great to bear for the people of Newtown,
and an unspeakable fear of any loving parent for their children.
Trying to understand and get human control over this situation
is proving to be difficult for anyone. You have stated that you
have heard priests and preachers say at funerals that "God has
asked for your loved one to come home to Him." This platitude is
simplistic but it does hold truth. I am not saying that God
"wanted all these kids killed today" as you say. On the
contrary, God had nothing to do with the killing. The murder of
these beautiful people happened at the hand of one man, Adam
Lanza, by his free will and his decision made in the darkness of
his mind. But the scripture states that even though God wasn't
responsible for the killing of these people in Newtown, He was
there to take them all "home to him." When I saw the events
unfold on the television news reports, my mind immediately went
to the Gospel of John, Chapter 14, Verses 1 through 6, which
"Do not let your
hearts be troubled. You have faith in God, have faith also in
Me. In my Father's house, there are many dwelling places.
If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to
prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place
for you, I will come back again and take you to Myself, so that
where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the
Thomas said to Him, "Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the
Truth, and the Life."
Notice what John is saying. John does not say that God wants or
wills the death of anyone. The Apostle John knew what the Book
of Wisdom, Chapter 1, Verse 13 and 14, said:
did not make death
nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living. For
He fashioned all things that they might have being; and the
creatures of the world are wholesome."
On the contrary, John is saying that at the moment of death,
God is right there to take that person home to heaven. As
Jesus said, "I will come back again and take you to Myself, so
that where I am you also may be." Why? Because "God
did not make death. "God did not have anything to do with
the killing of these innocent souls. But He did, as you
stated, "asked for your loved one to come home to Him" as John
quotes Jesus to say. Death came not from God, Who didn't
make it. Death came through sin and man's willing it, as Saint
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 21:
"For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of
the dead came also through a human being. For just as in
Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life."
The death of these people in Newtown came through a human
being and Jesus was right there taking them each home to Him as
He promised, to a mansion (dwelling place) built just for them.
But as the Book of Wisdom stated, God "does not rejoice in the
destruction of the living." He too felt and experienced each
bullet and each emotional crying pain of those who lost their
loved ones. So, why didn't God intervene and stop this shooter?
Here is the biggest mystery that is difficult to accept and
understand. God has given us all free will, and therefore the
ability to make my own destiny and to influence (and even
destroy) the destiny of others by what I personally do. God
does not interfere in our free will because to do so would make
us unable to freely love Him or freely hate Him, and also to
freely love others or to freely hate others. God so much values
our free will that He will rarely, if at all, interferes in our
free will decisions, even if the consequences of our actions
have such a destructive impact on others to the point of
changing another's destiny.
That's the hardest part of this mystery of free will to
accept. But it points to the fact that we are all responsible
and will be held accountable for every action of our entire life
at all times before the God who gave me free will. The
shooter, Adam Lanza, freely chose to do what he did, even though
his culpability was limited by his own mental and emotional
illness that isolated him from others and played tricks on his
own reality. Yet, Jesus was there, taking each innocent victim by the hand and
embracing them forever in His loving arms.
So, our own impending death is dependent on many complicated
factors, our free will decisions, the free will decisions of
others, our own bodies, and our own environmental situations.
We will all meet death and Jesus will be there to take us home.
You could leave your faith in God behind in your confusion,
anger and your judgment that God should have intervened and
stopped the carnage. And by not having any faith and instead
even, as you say, believe in "alien intervention" for the reason
of our existence, then life would become so burdensome and
hopeless. But I know that my God is real, and that He Himself
made all life and did not make death (remember, man made death a
reality by that original sin of Adam and Eve.) It is because of
faith that I can make such a negative and evil event into
something positive, change that will prevent such tragedies in
the future. And the people of Newtown will do the impossible
through their faith in a loving God who pushes us by His love
into action. For free will human decisions can be directed to
good by the actions of others. And the more good we can
accomplish to change, the more that human free will decisions
and actions can be directed to the greater good. Without faith,
there is no reason to do anything but just to sit and watch the
world go by.
I noticed something that touched my heart. The first thing that
the people of Newtown did was run to their local Catholic
parish, Saint Rose of Lima, to find solace and strength in their
faith in Jesus risen from the dead. Even though they had doubts
about a loving God like you and many others do, they did not
abandon their faith. Instead, they together embraced their
common faith so that they could use their common pain to build a
better world. And that's your destiny. Use your anger and
frustration to build a world without violence and untimely
death. Use your faith to give you the emotional strength needed
to overcome all obstacles. You
have no idea how much power you have in your free will.
God gave you the power to mold not only your destiny but the
destiny of others. That is the great human responsibility that
we all have. God will not stop us in making free will
decisions, though obstacles could be placed to stop us, though
once again through our free will power, we could overcome the
obstacle placed before us. He respects our free will no matter
what. But He will pick up the pieces when things go wrong.
And the goal of everything we do is directed to this end as
stated in I Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 25 and 26:
He must reign until He has put all his enemies under His feet."
The last enemy to be destroyed is death or He subjected
everything under His feet."
Jesus is accomplishing His mission to destroy death by what
we do here on earth. So, instead of focusing on your
frustration of God not intervening in stopping this tragedy,
focus your energy instead on protecting your loved ones by
influencing others in making decisions for life not death, for
love not hate, for action not apathy, for faith not doubt.
There are no easy answers here. But through faith, I can say
to those who lost so much in Newtown, "Jesus is risen from the
dead, and God has asked for your loved one to come home to Him,"
My prayer for those in Newtown is one of great hope:
Father, Our hearts are broken, our emotions are raw, we cannot
understand why such tragedy happened to good people who love you
and have faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. Yet, we will not be
overcome by evil, we will not be conquered by pain, we will not
be imprisoned by fear or victimhood. Our faith in the risen
Lord impels us to take action, to use our free will power to
build a better world. We will not be conquered by death for we
death by our faith
Nothing can stop us. So, Lord,
WITH confidence in your healing Spirit, we go forward
while grieving those we lost to such senseless violence. We go
forward because that is what those whose lives were cut short
want us to do. Father, send your Spirit of peace and healing
upon all who are in indescribable spiritual and emotional pain.
Heal broken hearts and lives. And with your Spirit's
inspiration, we will together ensure that no one will ever have
to experience such tragedy again. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen!
- The Priest Staff
In the light of the recent tragedy in
there have been a lot of articles about why God would allow this
to happen and why it is fundamentally important to understand
God's nature and our own free will. I understand this but my
question is, we pray to God and ask for his intercession and ask
for his will be done in our lives. We are taught that if our
faith were as big as a mustard seed we can move mountains and
what we ask we surely happen if we believe and submit to His
Will. If so why then would God allow such tragedy in the life
of one who had great Faith in His love and protection? Many
Thanks, with my prayers. -
It takes great faith and prayer to come to peace with
something so horrific as this happening in Connecticut. We
simply do not know the answers why this monstrous tragedy
occurred but as
believers we know that life is not without promised eternal
value. Even this tremendous sadness and loss of innocent
lives will be made right someday. Yes it is
so hard, so wrong, and so useless.
It took the cold reality of unexpected death and destruction
to gain our full attention and remind us that we live in a
temporary, imperfect, sinful, unstable, and frightening world.
We cry to the Lord, why do you allow such tragedies to happen?
Why? Where were the guardians you promised to send to protect
our loved ones? Why didn't You intervene?
But think. We know the Lord gave each of us free will. He
does not take it back even though our choices are wrong. It is
not our God Who causes horrific things to happen; it is man
exercising free will in a sin filled world. But know every time
we do things arbitrary to His will, He sees it all and one day
we will have to account for each and every action that went
against His teaching.
evil perpetrated by man is never the end or the final word, for the
final word belongs to Almighty God, Who sees and knows all
things. When we ask, "GOD, where were You?" we must, through
faith, confidently answer "He was right there, saddened by the
choices of man, but one day, be sure, when He comes back in
glory all things will be made right, for vengeance belongs only
to our God.
at peace, Jen, and pray for those who are hurting because of
their momentous losses. Ask the Lord to strengthen them during
their suffering and sorrow. Take heart, keep praying and
continue to stay close to our Savior, Jesus Christ, Who has
promised to walk with us through the trials and the miseries of
this life. One bright day, He will take us home to live forever
in a perfect place where there will be no more crying, no more
suffering, and no more dying. Praise God
The Staff at