Why do very bad things happen to very good people?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 22, 2018 - 12:00am

Many Catholics and other Christians, at some time in their lives, question why God allows evil things to happen to exemplary people. Such a point in their lives is a crossroad where their faith is tested, and if their foundations are not strong, they are bound to succumb. And succumb means they either turn to drugs, alcoholism, illicit sex, compulsive gambling, and even crime or suicide. When very bad things happen to very good people, that is where spirituality becomes very important, or else, those concerned end up in jail, the hospital, or the cemetery. And that would be very, very sad.


For instance, I know of a couple who struggled hard to send their eldest son to Law school. They could hardly make ends meet and took odd jobs to supplement their meager incomes. They sold their possessions and had to beg from relatives and borrow from friends just to pay the high tuition fees. But in his senior year, the son was recruited by a notorious fraternity. He was subjected to hazing and physical tortures and died of internal hemorrhage. The fratmen were arrested and pleaded not guilty. It will take years for the courts to decide. Then there is an appeal to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, if they are convicted. All these years, their pain and anguish will linger and worsen.

Then there was an OFW who left her husband and young children to work in the Middle East as a domestic helper. She endured 16 to 18 hours of endless chores each day, without rest and with limited food, or no food at all during Ramadan. She had to serve five households in one big building. The first floor was where the parents of her master lived. From the second to the fourth floors was where the four wives and their kids lived. She had to clean the house, do laundry, cook food, clean cars, and run errands. She sent her husband a lot of money. Her husband turned to drugs, gambling and illicit sex. Worse, he raped their two daughters. When he was reported to the police by his mother-in-law, he murdered the kids and burned the house. This OFW came home and became crazy. She is now roaming the streets half-naked. Why does this happen to a very good Catholic, even one who served the church as a catechist?

These people are not really bad. They work hard, they care for their families. They obey the laws and pay their taxes. They go to church and follow the commandments. They go to confession and take Communion each Sunday and holy days of obligations. They have good relationship with their neighbors and do not violate any law. Then, why did bad things happen to them? Doesn’t the Bible say that not a strand of our hair shall fall without the consent of God? Well, if he really allows these things, I do believe that there must be some rhyme or some reason. There must be a purpose. Events like these are ways by which the great ones are trying to tell us something. We have to have enough discernment and wisdom to know the meaning. Or else, we go crazy or kill ourselves.

There are things that the finite human mind simply cannot fathom. Faith is just the choice to believe what the infinite mind of God has in store for all of us. We just have to trust in the goodness of his purpose.


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