Skip to main content

What do Catholics Believe About Evil?

Photo by Shelly H Kelly, Of Sound Mind and Spirit
Last week our nation faced another shocking news story that left many people asking, “Why did this happen? Where was God? Why would God allow this to happen to His people?”

To try and understand these answers, I turned to the Catechism to see what the church really believes in “evil” and how it answers the question of why God allows evil to happen.

Evil Comes from Sin
Whether you believe it in or not, evil exists in our world. There are those who may try to explain away an evil act as a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc., but evil is a direct consequence of sin and it comes from humanity’s rejection of God and opposition to Him. Sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another. (CCC 386-387)

The source of all sin can be found at the beginning of the history of man, with the first original choice to turn away from God, and sin has marked the whole of our human history. All sin, no matter how small, leads us toward evil and away from God.

God is Good, All the Time
However, it is important to realize that God is infinitely good and all his works are good. (CCC 385) He does not do evil and He does not condone evil. He gives us free will to act. He gives us the free will to choose whether we act out of love for Him and thereby for one another, or to shut ourselves off from His love and grace. Unfortunately in our world, there are persons who choose sin, who choose to be separated from love, who choose evil.

Free Will
When faced with this evil, we also have free will to choose our response. We can harden our hearts with grief and hate or we can seek and find God’s love. For He knows what good may come out of our grief. Only God is able to take evil acts and use them to bring light to darkness. He knows we need help fighting evil and so He sent us a Savior in his son, Jesus, to lead us. Nowhere is this free will and Christ's goodness more evident than in the victim's families choosing to forgive. 

The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessing than those which sin had taken from us: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Romans 5:20 (CCC 420)

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

My Favorite Catholic Children's Bibles

How do you select a Catholic Children's Bible?  Which children's bible is best for my kids?  Those are questions I get asked all the time.  Searching in my house I discovered almost a dozen different Catholic Bibles for kids or youth on our shelves. When looking for a children's bible or book of bible stories for children, there are several things to take into consideration.  How old is the child?  Do you want something easy to read in story form or a bible with scripture text?  How big or heavy is the book? Is the children's bible a keepsake to commemorate a special event like a baptism, first communion or confirmation? And the answers to these questions might change as the child grows and develops or you have multiple children. With those questions in mind, I'll delve into the Catholic Children's Bibles and Bible Stories we like best of those in our home. My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Compiled by Hei

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that