Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Jose. Earthquakes in Mexico.
I often get the inevitable question, “If God loves us so much, why do these bad things happen?” That question is a hard one to answer, but please allow me the opportunity to try.
First, these are all natural disasters. The earth, by its nature and in its orbit, undergoes change in and of itself. As people populate the planet, we can also get in the way of the earth’s natural processes, which may have consequences, such as we are witnessing.
We are called to care for our creation as indicated in Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si. .
Second, God loves us very much. He wants to protect us. God also inspires His creation to advance technologies to improve the state of the human race, in order to prevent too much loss when natural disasters happen.
That being said, God works through people. People who have been given free will. Freedom to choose good and not so good. Freedom to be in relationship with God to do His will or freedom to reject Him.
When tragedy arises, we are called to put our faith into action. That is the good. Out of tragedy is born opportunity to be the hands of Jesus where, in most cases, it might be difficult to see Him. God’s hand to you is grace. Your hand to God is faith.
There are many opportunities to extend support to our brothers and sisters in need who have been affected by these natural disasters. We have been encouraged to work through Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services when offering support. Also, allow your prayers to provide the support needed when you can’t be the feet on the ground. Mary, Patroness of the Americas and Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Jill Fischer is the Principal of St. Dominic Catholic School.