God created Man and Woman and put them in the paradise not in the forest or desert. Paradise is a place of peace, harmony and prosperity not a place of struggle and suffering. “… in the original plan of God Man would not have had to suffer or die…” (Catechism-Compendium 72). God created human beings just to share his love and goodness with them (Youcat 2). This truth is revealed again and again through the further teachings of the Church. … “God is no way directly or indirectly the cause of the evil in this world…” (Catechism – Compendium 57). God has not created death or suffering in this world. Now death is a certainty in all human beings. And suffering is in its various forms due to all children of Adam (Sirach 40:1). But it is not from God because the Catechism 413 says “God did not make death, He does not delight in the death of the living…. it was through the devil’s envy that death entered the world” (Wis 1:13, 2:24). God is the master of life not the master of death “… Jesus, the author of life, by dying, He destroyed the devil who has the power of death and also the power to keep Man in life-long bondage of the fear of death …” (CCC 335). If God is the master of death Jesus would not destroy the plan of his father by destroying the power of death. If suffering and sickness are the plan of God, Jesus would not heal all the sick who came to him (Mt.15:29-38). And God will not give medicines and physicians for the sick (Sirach 38.1-15). Jesus has come to this world to reinstate man into his lost glory or to the original plan of God (CCC 518) that is given above in the compendium 72.
Above all God has the power to give life, life in abundance by providing resurrection to those who are dead because God never created death. “The Devil has come to steal, destroy and kill but the son of man has come to give life, life in abundance” ( Jn. 10:10). Therefore God is not the author or source of suffering or death. God allows it because the devil demands for it and God can’t deny the devil’s right but God brings something good out of the evil (CCC 312).
Who is the devil and who are the demons?
“Satan or the devil and other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and His plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.”( CCC 414). Their choice is irrevocable ( Compendium of the catechism 74). The evil mentioned in the Lord’s prayer (deliver us from the evil ) is not an abstract idea or the sum total of all bad things and events in this world but it indicates the person of satan ( Compendium of the catechism 597). This satan has secured an acquired right to persecute the descendants of Adam and Eve for his enjoyment through the original sin (CCC 407). The consequences of the original sin and acquired right of the satan made man’s life as a battle field ( CCC 409). All those who are leading a holy life, in Christ Jesus, will be persecuted ( 2 Thimo 3:12); definitely not by God. Why does God persecute His followers? He will not do that for any reason.
Human Suffering in its various forms
In the teaching of the Church according to CCC 2448 says ‘ … all forms of human suffering such as material deprivation (poverty, scarcity, shortage, lack of essential amenities) unjust oppression (such as exploitation, rape, pedophilia, economic exploitation) all kinds of physical sickness (curable or incurable), all sort of mental sickness, death etc are the result of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Through the consequence of the original sin the devil entered into humanity with its dominion. When that dominion of the devil is manifested and it is resulted in the above mentioned forms of suffering … all these miseries elicited the compassion of Jesus and he took all the forms of suffering on his body and suffered as ransom for all and set man free from their various forms of suffering…..’. Jesus is substitute for all ( CCC 517).
All human beings are under the bondage of various types of sufferings as long as they are alive in this world. Vatican II G.S. 13 says human suffering is never from God but almost all men are entangled with various forms of suffering in this world. It reads like this “… man finds that he has inclinations toward evil too, and is engulfed by manifold ills which cannot come from his good Creator.… all of human life, whether individual or collective, shows itself to be a dramatic struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. Indeed, man finds that by himself he is incapable of battling the assaults of evil successfully, so that everyone feels as though he is bound by chains. But the Lord Himself came to free and strengthen man, renewing him inwardly and casting out that "prince of this world" who held him in the bondage of sin…”
Who is this “prince of the world”?
John 14:30 says about the prince of this world who is also the ruler of the world. He is the devil. When the devil governs the whole world till the second coming of Jesus, how can we expect this world to enjoy peace, harmony, health, wealth and rest of the blessings of the paradise which God has given man to remain in it forever. Therefore, Jesus has to come again to bind and cast out the prince and ruler of the world to be in hell eternally (CCC 2853). Though at the time of the death of Jesus, the devil and other demons were defeated but were not killed or destroyed. Therefore, till the second coming of Jesus they are allowed to work against man and creatures. In the second coming of Jesus the final and definitive victory over the devil will happen and the devil and demons will be cast out and be bound eternally in hell. Therefore, all human beings along with all creation are groaning with pain and waiting for a liberator who is to come in the second coming to deliver all of creation from the ruin -suffering and death ( Rom 8:21-23).
The main reason of suffering and death
“…….Suffering is a consequence of original sin …..” (CCC 1521). When Adam and Eve opted for the devil and requested him to make them and their descendants like God, they disobeyed God and separated from Him eternally (not irrevocably separated). Then the five major consequences entered into the humanity of Adam and Eve such as powerlessness, ignorance, suffering, death and concupiscence (CCC 418). These consequences are also transmitted from generation to generation. Though the sacrament of baptism makes people free from all the consequences of original sin and personal sins, certain temporal consequences of sins remain even after baptism as we read in CCC 1264 “By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishments for sin …….yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized such as suffering, illness, death, ….. temptations…..etc” . This is the reason that even the baptized are also under the bondage of suffering and death. In this form of suffering, there is a chance to receive charisms until they are healed. Even saintly people are also under the bondage of suffering and death. But these sufferings will help them to be united with Christ who suffered and resurrected. These saintly souls who are under suffering will get the powers of the resurrection of Jesus in their soul and body. They will have supernatural charisms which are given for the building up of the Church (Catechism- Compendium 160).
Because of the sin of Adam and Eve, Satan has received an acquired right not innate right to torment the people for his enjoyment till the second coming of Jesus (CCC 407). Therefore Jesus has come to this world to take all the consequences of the sin in its all forms of suffering, into His body, just to cancel and finish all the consequence of sin including the consequence of the original sin and personal sins of all human beings.
Jesus has already cleansed the humanity and healed it ( 1Pt. 2:24) through His suffering in the his new humanity which is not received from the humanity of Adam and Eve. Therefore the humanity of Jesus is not under the dominion of the devil. All the consequences of the original sin and personal sins, which are in his old humanity, are removed and cancelled when a person is united with the new humanity of Jesus. Old humanity Adam and Eve is transmitted from generation to generation by procreation not by co-operation (CCC 407). But new humanity of Jesus will be provided by personal co-operation.
So every person should make himself free from the weakness of the humanity of Adam and Eve (which is under the dominion of the devil) that is inherited by birth through the linage of Adam and Eve. How does it possible? It is possible by repentance, reconciliation, faith and prayer each and everyone is given a chance to be united with the resurrected humanity of Jesus. That is to enjoy all the features and qualities of the resurrected body of Jesus while man is still living in his physical body. There is no chance of getting sickness and suffering in the resurrected body. In the same way the human body, which is united with risen Lord, will enjoy the features of the resurrected body. By baptism one dies with Christ and is also raised with Christ (Colo 2:12). When you believe in Christ Jesus and receive baptism you are already rissen and sharing the features of resurrection in your body. By His mercy you are also seated with Christ in heaven while you are in this world (Eph 2:4-6). Then Christ is alive in him and he becomes the mystical body of Jesus. In the mystical body there are features of resurrection already downloaded. All those who are united with Christ and redeemed by his suffering, death and resurrection are called the mystical body of Jesus that is the Church (Vat II L.G.5 and Col 1:24). Therefore Church is known as the Sacrament of Redemption, which redeems everyone from all forms of suffering and death. In the church there is freedom from the suffering and death.
Christ carries and endures our suffering and death in his body. This is clarified by this testimony. There was a King in the Middle-East who had observed that many of the government officers were accepting bribery to serve the public. The king and his ministers took a decision to eradicate it. Therefore, they passed a rule to give 30 lashes to the culprits by tying them to a tripod. Meanwhile the secret police found that the mother of the King had accepted bribery to appoint a servant girl in the kitchen. The judges requested the King to ignore the matter due to her advanced age and weakness of the body. But the king said “let the law take its course according to the justice”. According to justice, the mother of the King was to be punished with 30 lashes fastened to a tripod. She was condemned. When two soldiers started to beat her, the king himself pushed her out of the tripod and stood instead of her and took all thirty lashes on his body and fulfilled the demands of law and justice.
According to the justice of God, He cannot cancel the acquired right of satan without paying his due. What is justice? Justice is to give what is due to each. Therefore according to the justice of God, He sent Jesus to take all punishment on His body. Therefore Jesus is condemned (Rom 8:1-3) and He took all due punishment which ought to have been on the bodies of the human beings and fulfilled the demands of justice. All those who do not believe in this divine exchange have to be judged according to the justice of God and satan will enjoy their suffering as his due. But all those who believe in this merciful exchange of God and ask for mercy will be spared from the due punishment by the mercy of God (diary of St. Faustina 471 & 754). “When the mercy of God is revealed through the humanity of Jesus, we have received salvation, as a free gift of God” (Tit. 3:4-5).
Therefore be merciful to others as God is merciful (Luke 6:36) to receive the result of the merciful act of God. “Those who have mercy will receive mercy from God” (Mat. 5:7). Therefore be merciful to others and trust in the mercy of God, repent of all your sins, reconcile with everybody and ask for mercy to overcome all your suffering in this world. Without asking, God cannot do anything in your life, because God has given you freedom of choice. God doesn’t want to intrude into your freedom to provide you something good without your consent. That is the reason we have to express our consent to God to interact in our life by prayer, which is also a request with full consent (Youcat 486 & 487 and Compendium 553). St. Augustine said “without you God created, without you God will not save”. Through the consent of Adam and Eve satan gained dominion over them and their descendants, therefore without your personal consent and decision, the just God can not cancel the dominion of the devil, because Adam and Eve were not able to cancel their consent and decision in their deprived condition. You have to cancel it right now by the grace that is given by Jesus.
The duty of the church towards the sick and suffering.
The church has three duties towards the suffering as described in catechism- compendium 315 such as taking care of the sick, accompanying them with her prayer of intercession and administer the sacrament of confession, Eucharist and anointing of the sick. In 2012 November, a certain Christa a 14 year old girl who was suffering from psoriasis right from the time of her childhood requested healing through prayers. I interceded for her through the Skype because she was in Sharjah while I was in India. And I also suggested her to pray the divine mercy chaplet for nine days. She did it and got totally freed from that sickness. Church is the distributor of the redemption of Jesus (CCC 1471). God said to Joshua “you have to distribute the inheritance that I have promised to my people” (Joshua 1:6). Church distributes the fruits of the redemption and promises of God through the sacraments and prayers of the priests( the priestly ministry of the church).