ALLOWS EVIL AND SUFFERING
My son, say Scriptures, if you come to
serve the Lord, prepare your soul for trial; set your heart straight, and
patiently endure. And elsewhere it says: Accept everything that comes as
good, knowing that nothing occurs without God willing it. Thus, the soul
that wishes to do God's will must strive above all to acquire patient
endurance and hope.
For one of the tricks of the devil is to
make us listless at the time of affliction, so that we give up our hope in
the Lord. God never allows a soul which hopes in Him to be so
oppressed by trials that it is put to utter confusion. As St. Paul writes:
God is to be trusted not to let us be tired beyond our strength, but with
the trial He will provide a way out, so that we are able to bear it.
The devil harasses the soul not as much as
he wants, but as much as God allows him to. Men know what burden may be
placed on a mule, what on a donkey, and what on a camel, and load each beast
accordingly; and the potter knows how long he must leave the pots in the
fire, so that they are not cracked by staying in too long, or rendered
useless by being taken out of it before they are properly fired.
If human understanding extends this far,
must not God be much more aware, infinitely more aware, of the degree of
trial it is right to impose on each soul, so that it becomes tried and true,
fit for the kingdom of heaven?