The kitchen is my “calm in the storm.” I’m happy when I’m whipping up some food for someone who is hungry, sad or needs a little love. Recently, I was making a batch of cinnamon rolls for a friend who needed a lift. It was at the end of a hectic day, and I was trying to cram one more thing in. The dough was rolled out and smeared with butter and brown sugar. In a quick twist to the cupboard, I grabbed, and was about to sprinkle on the cinnamon. Thank goodness I paused an instant to realize that I was about to plaster the buttery, sugary dough with CHILI POWDER instead of cinnamon.
If God is good, why does God permit suffering? This question presents a primary stumbling block to faith. It is a question that each and every person will most assuredly confront at some point or other, as suffering in its various forms finds us all.
Of course, there is no easy answer to this question as we are ultimately dealing with a great mystery. Even Christ was not spared the hurts of living in a fallen world. Perhaps, this is why it has often been said the final word before the mystery of God is muein, an ancient Greek word meaning “to close the mouth.”
Feast Day: April 28
Gianna Beretta Molla, born in 1922 in Magenta, Italy, was a steadfast woman, both in her beliefs and in her career.
At the age of 20, just after she graduated high school, she began studying medicine in Milan. She instantly fell in love with the medical field and considered being a doctor a sort of “priestly mission”—not work. “Just as the priests can touch Jesus,” Gianna once wrote on a prescription pad, “so we doctors touch Jesus in the bodies of our patients: in the poor, the young, the old, and children.”
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man
or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered,
“Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works
of God might be made visible through him. (Jn 9: 1-3)
In the mid-1990s, a campus minister named Doug Schaupp was struggling with how to awaken faith in students. He and his ministry team at UCLA realized that “students weren’t responding in the same ways they had before. Sharing the truth of Jesus’ Gospel no longer moved people. Our evangelistic labors resonated less, and had less fruit.” 1
During the 1997-1998 school year, 37 students went through conversion experiences. Schaupp’s team responded by doing something unusual. They asked these students to describe their spiritual journeys.