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Why does God permit suffering?

Every week we recommend different books we think you'll love.

CTS Weekly Picks

Why should we suffer? What have we done? Can God be good if he allows this suffering? It is all such a hopeless waste; the good suffer and the wicked apparently escape. . . .

Almost everyone is affected by it; the sun of life goes out, the darkness overwhelms our faith, uncertainty dims our hope, and the very pain of it all quenches our love. Is there any answer? But for those who have faith, who are genuine Christians, there is a very beautiful answer. It is all in these words: “Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?””

The question of suffering is an age-old struggle. Reconciling a God of love with the suffering we see all around us can be immensely challenging. Someone who knew this well, and who offers a message of hope to those in challenging times, is St Bernadette.

As we prepare for her relics to tour Britain this September, we wanted to shine a spotlight on this difficult question. We’ve compiled together books that we recommend for those who want answers. These books cover: Making Sense of Suffering, Finding God in Mental Health Difficulties, Crisis of Faith, Dealing With Challenges to the Faith, and Finding Happiness.

When you pray before the relics of St Bernadette this Autumn, you can ask her to help you make sense of this. In the meantime, we hope these book recommendations offer you some help and consolation.

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St Bernadette

Message of Bernadette Donal Anthony Foley, Mgr Vernon Johnson

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Lourdes David Baldwin

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Finding God in Mental Health Difficulties

Finding God in Loneliness

Finding God in Loneliness Fr Antonio Ritaccio

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Finding God in Times of Stress

Finding God in Times of Stress Fr Antonio Ritaccio

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Crisis of Faith

Test of Faith

A Test of Faith Fr Benedict J. Groeschel CFR

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Finding God in Doubt & Disbelief Rev Nick Donnelly

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Finding Happiness

Why Worry!

Why Worry! William Lawson, SJ

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How to be Happy

How to Be Happy Fr Paul Nicholson SJ

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Living Fruitfully: Joy

Living Fruitfully: Joy Mgr Paul Grogan

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Dealing With Challenges to the Faith