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Father Carlos Morales


THROUGH CatholicView, I have received many questions about the nature of faith, and why sometimes people with faith seem to suffer more than those without faith in God.  Usually these questions come from people who are searching for God, others who have no religious background, and those who are believers but are overwhelmed with the burdens of life.  So, to answer all who ask these questions, I wanted to summarize my thoughts on the issue of faith and suffering.

I am responsible for my life, and what happens to me and to others around me.  Every action I do, affects those around me.  There are times when bad things happen because others cause the problems and pain, and I must somehow rise above that and become master of my life despite what others around me and possibly to me.  My faith in God enables me to see the BIG PICTURE of life.  When I am in trauma, I do not see anything but the pain.  I see nothing else.  But my Creator wants me to open my eyes to see the bigger picture and wants me to me to have hope of overcoming the negative. That is what faith is all about, to see that life is bigger than me, to snap me out of my self-centeredness and self-pity, and to move forward without looking back and being weighed down by the past (the meaning of forgiveness).  And I make my own problems.  I make my own destiny.  I make my own decisions.  Each decision I make has consequences, good consequences and bad consequences. 

And as a Catholic Christian, I am also in a faith relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  It is that Christian faith that enables me to break free from my own pain made by my own decisions or by the decisions of others.  Instead of feeling for myself and allowing myself to be imprisoned by inaction and depression, my faith in God tells me that life is so much more that the present pain.  As a Catholic, I cherish our Father because He sent Jesus to come and show me the way to eternal life, to die for me and pay the price for me and for you because of our sins.  By the Holy Spirit, we encounter God in the scriptures, in the sacraments, in the teaching in the Church, in prayer, in silence, and in union with other believers in Jesus.

Having a relationship with God, our Creator and Father through Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior does NOT bring anything negative.  Such a Spiritual relationship only brings life, joy, peace, serenity, strength, love, and hope.  The negative comes from within and from others around me.  Without God, there is no hope and without hope, there is no joy.  With God, there is hope, joy, and fullness of life.  For me, I cannot in imagine life without God.  Now it is up to all of us whether or not to have a relationship with the Divine.  Have no fear of God.  That I do not have.  I do, sadly, have concern (fear, anxiousness) about the sinfulness of human beings that can make life miserable.

As for me, without faith in God, life can seem quite hopeless.  Therefore I must choose God and live life to the full without fear.  And when you choose God, you can do the impossible because, you see, God always believes in you.  And when you believe in Him, you can overcome the negative and trauma of life.  Faith in God gives me the self-confidence I need for every situation...why?  When I know my Creator, in whose image I was created, through my spiritual life, I realize how much He believes in me because He truly loves what He has made.  God looks upon me and sees me as "very good" (see Genesis 1:31). 

Once I realize this truth of being eternally loved, I am at peace no matter what is going on around me.  Thanks be to God and our Savior, Jesus Christ!



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