Making sense of human suffering is a challenge in every age, and many a person confronted with man’s inhumanity to his fellow man has lost his faith in a good God. The Holocaust, in particular, because of the scope of its ruthlessness, has raised the question for modern man: “What kind of God allows the horrible and systematic murder of so many innocent people?”
Quoting widely from Christian, Jewish and secular sources, Regis Martin makes an unflinching examination of this universal question on the meaning of suffering. By meditating on Christ’s passion, death and descent into Hell, he asks us to consider anew the God who overcomes evil by plunging himself into the depths of human misery.
The author presents the arguments of those who say that because of the Holocaust, and other such numerous horrors in history, all human discourse is suspended, including that which presumes the existence of a good and all-powerful God. He responds with a penetrating discussion of the deeper meaning of Christ’s life, passion, death and resurrection in relation to human suffering, and then uses the examples of modern martyrs of the Holocaust such as Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe to show the meaning of the sacrifice of their lives and so many others in the larger context of Christ’s self-emptying for the sake of others.
Regis Martin is a Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and the author of several books on spirituality and theology. His other works include The Last Things and Garlands Of Grace published by Ignatius Press.