Why would an all-loving God allow suffering? Are not suffering and love opposed to one another? Does suffering have any meaning or benefit? Is there any objective evidence for God, for a soul that will survive bodily death, for the resurrection of Jesus? Who is God anyway – benevolent and loving, or angry and retributive?
Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., gives a comprehensive response to these questions and many others, explaining the contemporary evidence for God, the soul, and the resurrection. He discusses how God uses suffering to lead us to compassion for others and eternal life. He also shows how the Holy Spirit guides us through times of suffering toward our salvation, explaining the signs and the interior movements that reveal the Spirit's actions.
Fr. Spitzer not only addresses the perplexing questions associated with suffering but teaches us how to suffer well. He points out some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to interpret God's motives for allowing or alleviating suffering. He demonstrates why suffering – in combination with love – is one of the most powerful motivating agents for personal, cultural, and societal development.
"With heart and intellectual verve, Fr. Spitzer explores why a loving God allows——must allow——pain. More important, he shows how suffering can teach us compassion, shape our character for the better, bring us closer to God, and in fact can be, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the ground out of which a greater happiness grows."— Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
"Suffering has the power to break or elevate the human spirit. Lived in the spirit of the Gospel and borne for the sake of others, it's the most redemptive, transfiguring force in creation. Fr. Spitzer has written a magisterial work on the meaning of suffering, a work remarkable both for its depth and beauty." —Most Rev. Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
"In this trenchant and searching book, Fr. Spitzer responds to the most powerful objection to the proposition that God exists, namely, the problem of suffering. And he dares to do what very few are willing to do today: to articulate how evil and pain are ingredients in the providential design of a loving God."— Bishop Robert Barron, Host, Catholicism film series
"Fr. Spitzer draws not only from his singular intellect, but also from the deep well of his personal experience and suffering. God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. It's edifying to see how true this is even in a man of such stature. This book is ultimately about the personal crisis of suffering everybody goes through, but nobody's prepared for. This book is invaluable."— Scott Hahn, Ph.D., Author, Rome Sweet Home
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. is the former president of Gonzaga University and the founder of the Magis Institute, which educates the public about the relationship between physics, philosophy, reason, and faith. He is the chief education officer of the Ethics and Performance Institute, which delivers web-based ethics education to corporations and individuals, and President of the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership, which delivers similar curricula to non-profit organizations. He is the author of Healing the Culture, Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life, and Ten Universal Principles.