The popular view about human suffering is that it makes it more difficult to believe in God. Even Catholics – indeed, even some priests – express themselves at a loss when dealing with death, especially sudden death or the death of a young person. That’s astonishing, and completely contradicts what Catholic believe about the shortness of even the longest life, and the fact that this life is but a preparation for the next.
In any case, there is another aspect to this question. Something, such as the helicopter crash in Glasgow which happened late last night, on the eve of the Feast of St Andrew, our national patron, could be interpreted as God reminding us that He is in charge. God never treats us like puppets. He gave human beings free will, and it was the abuse of that fee will by our first parents which led to disorder in the world, so it is futile to blame God for suffering; instead, we ought to reflect deeply on the truth that in various ways, through all the suffering caused by illness, accidents, disease, natural disasters, and so on, somehow, God makes His presence felt.
It would be interesting to know how many (if any) atheists were standing outside the Clutha pub last night. Did anyone fail to offer a prayer, whether or intercession or gratitude?
St Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland, intercede for everyone affected by the helicopter tragedy.
Our Lady of Lourdes, health of the sick, pray for them.