The hid­den God and his in­scrutable ways

Malta Independent - - LETTERS -

My sole in­ten­tion is to stem Mr John Guil­lau­mier’s in­tol­er­a­ble amount of acer­bic and hos­tile com­ments, tirades and in­nu­en­dos against the Church and any­thing holy. This how­ever should be done in mod­er­a­tion.

There was a time when this pa­per af­forded a mo­nop­oly in the let­ters sec­tion to a cer­tain per­son who had am­ple time and space to sharpen his knives and fire on all cylin­ders to ex­pose his sin­is­ter phi­los­o­phy (April – Au­gust 2016). His let­ters were treated as if they had just been handed down from the mount on a tablet of stone. I hope this pa­per does not fall back into this pe­riod’s ways of crony­ism and dis­crim­i­na­tion dur­ing which I some­times felt like be­ing forced to climb Mount Ever­est in flip-flops. It has al­ways been an up­hill strug­gle to have a let­ter pub­lished but my in­sis­tence and con­vic­tion to have my let­ters pub­lished ex­press­ing, what I be­lieve to be right and proper, driven on by hope brings me neatly to this let­ter.

With ref­er­ence to let­ter “Beg­ging for graces” (TMIS, 9 Oc­to­ber), no­body can re­ally ex­plain that co­nun­drum and what­ever is writ­ten about the sub­ject does not get any closer to the rea­son why this hap­pens. It is hard for any­one to di­gest that sick­ness and pain, a stark re­al­ity, un­mis­take­ably leads us to af­firm that suf­fer­ing is com­pat­i­ble with God’s love. How­ever, a tinge of faith can clar­ify and al­le­vi­ate the com­plex­ity of this dilemma.

When the man­ner of Peter’s death by cru­ci­fix­ion was fore­told by Je­sus, it sig­ni­fied glory to God.

Suf­fer­ing in it­self is noth­ing, but suf­fer­ing shared with Christ’s pas­sion is a won­der­ful gift (Mother Teresa), the death of God him­self on the cross. He en­tered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He laid aside his im­mu­nity to pain and suf­fered for us. Thus our suf­fer­ings be­come more man­age­able thanks to him and it is God’s only self-jus­ti­fi­ca­tion in such a world of ours. Scrip­ture de­scribes God as a hid­den God (St Paul) and you have to make an ef­fort of faith to find Him, as all blessed souls do, “In si­lence and in hope shall your strength be” (Isa­iah 30.15).

But who can un­der­stand God’s pros­e­ly­ti­za­tion? And this has not cov­ered the pain and suf­fer­ings of chil­dren and we re­main in hor­ri­fied in­com­pre­hen­sion. How­ever the fol­low­ing ex­cerpt can be of some spir­i­tual balm and en­shrines this mys­tery.

“For we have not a high priest who can­not have com­pas­sion on our in­fir­mi­ties, but one tried as we are in all things ex­cept sin” (Jews 4. 15).

Sad­ness and ac­cep­tance of the cross, peace and love are ev­er­last­ing for peo­ple of good­will and more so for Chris­tians. In any case, athe­ism has no so­lu­tion for sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, but be­liev­ers at least can cling to the con­so­la­tion of re­li­gion and faith.

John Az­zopardi Zab­bar

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