Why would an all-loving God allow suffering? Aren’t suffering and love opposed to one another? Does suffering have any benefit for this life? Does it have any benefit for eternal life? Is there any objective evidence for God – for a soul that will survive bodily death – for the resurrection of Jesus? If there is testable, objective evidence for a resurrection, what is this resurrection like? Who is God anyway – benevolent and loving or angry and retributive? Father Spitzer gives a comprehensive explanation of contemporary evidence for God, the soul, and the resurrection, and helps us understand how God uses suffering to lead us to the resurrection, and to compassion for others. He also shows how the Holy Spirit guides us through times of suffering toward our salvation – and other’s salvation, explaining the signs and interior movements that reveal the Spirit’s actions. But even armed with this eternal perspective, serious questions remain. If God has power over nature, why doesn’t He just perform a lot more miracles when we pray for them so that we won’t have to suffer? Why did God make the natural world imperfect in the first place? Wouldn’t it have been better to create us in a world without suffering – without challenge, need, and self-sacrifice? Father Spitzer not only addresses the perplexing questions associated with suffering but he teaches us how to suffer well. He points out some of the most common errors we make in interpreting God’s motives for and alleviation of suffering. He explains why suffering – in combination with love – is one of the most powerful motivating agents for personal, cultural, and societal development. Suffering and love are inextricably bound up with one another on the highest levels of human meaning.
POINTS OF INTEREST
• Gives compelling evidence for God, the soul, Jesus, and the resurrection – from scientific investigations and historical investigations
• An investigation of who God is according to Jesus – benevolent and loving or angry and retributive?
• Answers to the questions of why an all-loving God would allow suffering
• Shows the difference between Old and New Testament views of God and suffering – and how Jesus reinterpreted God’s motives for and workings in suffering
• A systematic explanation of the interrelationship between the four levels of happiness, the four levels of love, and suffering
• A step by step guide – from prayer and controlling fear to seeking opportunities of suffering, offering up sufferings, and following the Holy Spirit in times of suffering
Praise for The Light Shines on in the Darkness:
"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 for its depth and beauty. I highly recommend it both as a personal witness of faith and an exercise in exemplary scholarship."
— Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. is the former president of Gonzaga University and founder of the Magis Institute. He is the founder of the Ethics and Performance Institute, which delivers web-based ethics education to corporations and individuals, and President of the Spitzer Center of Ethical Leadership, which delivers similar curricula to nonprofit organizations. He is the author of many books including Healing the Culture, God So Loved the World, Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life, and Ten Universal Principles.