God You’re Breaking my Heart: What is God’s response to suffering and evil? is a new book by prolific Jesuit author, Brian Grogan SJ. He is the author of classic bestseller, Finding God in All Things and many other titles on Ignatian spirituality.
Evil is a dark mystery. Each of us has our own story in which suffering and evil become personal; each of us endures in our own way.
It can be difficult to understand suffering and evil, and each of us also contributes to the underlying problem. The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. It is easy to denounce evildoers, but more difficult to understand them. This means that we, who are at best imperfect, have a hard time understanding ourselves as well as others.
Only when the history of this world is drawn to a close will the quasi-infinity of interactions that bring suffering and evil yield up their meaning. The full interpretation will come not from human effort but from divine illumination. Only then will we be able to say, ‘Was it not necessary that we should suffer these things and so enter into glory?’
What does this book offer? This book offers hope and challenge.
Fr Grogan chose the title God you’re breaking my heart as he has heard it as the spontaneous cry of many an anguished heart. But it also hints at what is going on deeper down. The title has a double meaning: the slow sad music of humankind can indeed break our hearts; but God allows and uses suffering only to enlarge our heart’s capacity for that greater love that is its destiny. The glimmers of light offered by the Christian tradition can become a steady beam that can enable us to find our way home, even in heavy seas.
Faced with evil we can become bitter and blaming, negative and closed; or we can become positive and trusting, resilient and patient, and more deeply engaged in the divine struggle to bring good out of evil. Not to overcome the darkness is to be overcome by it.
||Brian Grogan SJ is former President of Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin. He specialises in Ignatian spirituality and his books for Veritas include Alone and on Foot: Ignatius of Loyola (2009) and Where to From Here: The Christian Vision of Life After Death (2011).