Why bad things are happened to the good people? Why God agree to this? Why God not stop people from doing bad things to others?
We discussed this topic recently in out community. We prayed first to Saint Benedict and ask for the blessing of wisdom to understand this topic.
I remember the same discussion and questions we asked to our professor – bishop and philosopher in Department of Theology of our catholic university. His answer was simple and just enough good for me. God giving the free will to people. God not choosing what people have to do. People are choosing this by themselves. If God will stop people to do wrong things this will be against free will.
However people around me still asking the same question and not accepting answer from my professor. Lets ask Saint Benedict and listen what he will say.
Sister: Dear Saint Ben, tell us please why bad things are happened to the good people?
Saint Ben: Why you asking like this? Why you say: “good people”? Do you believe in difference between “good” and “bad” people?
Sister: You are right Ben. You know me, I believe that are people are good. Only people’s behavior can be bad or good.
Saint Ben: We are not perfect.If all people are good is better to ask: Why good people doing bad things?
Sister: Yes, tell me why? Your life experience is a good example. Why monks from your first monastery, who choose you as an Abbot try to kill you after? Do you believe that they are “good monks”? They are just ordinary murders and they should go to Hell. How you can explain this?
Saint Ben: I have learned a lot after stay in this monastery. First, only limited number of high spiritually gifted monks will to be holly. Average kind of monk looking just for peace. Its not mean that they are bad monks. They are good people and dedicated God’s servants. But like in every profession, also in the Monastic Profession only few are true genius or holy people.
Sister: But some of them are killers. They put poison to your wine!
Saint Ben: This is because I was too hard for them. I was demanding a lot from myself and start to demand from others too. It was not this what they want. I demand to eat less meat, drink less wine, eat more simple vegetarian meals, drink spring mineral water, not waste time, study more, discuss meaningful topic and pray more.
Sister: It was the real reason to kill you? I still cant believe that they did this and don’t understand why? Tell me why? Why? Why?
Saint Ben: I was shocked too. I will not ever discuss this with them but just leave monastery in peace. You should remember that It was tradition to choosing Abbot for lifetime. If they decide that choosing me was a mistake, only one way to get rid of me was to kill me. It was not punishment or limit to kill slaves or labor workers without explained reason. Duel was for knights and noble people. For kings and formal leader was only the poison.
Sister: But they were monks! Don’t they understand that killing is a deadly sin! How you can explain this Ben? I don’t understand!
Saint Ben: Do you know that the Bad Spirit usually trying to attack religious people much stronger that any others? They were just in complete power of the Bad Spirit in this moment. I’m praying to God for forgiveness for them. The Bad Spirit is able to change the mind of good people like this. There are really limited number or people who are doing wrong things intentionally. They want kill me because they believe that this is God’s will to remove me from this monastery. They believe that I’m against vision and mission of this monastery because I was thinking about rewriting the monastic rules. But they have already they own rules and they don’t wish to have any change. They really believed that they are doing something good by getting rid of me.
Sister: Do you know who put poison to your wine? Is not possible that everybody love you, no matter who you are. But most of the monks loved and admired you.
Saint Ben: Yes, only few were against. I know who put poison to my wine and I’m still praying for this person. I want God to forgive this monk and give him wisdom of understanding and eternal peace in Heaven.
Sister: Tell me yet where was your first monastery. People guessing about this that this is a place where are Franciscans now, but nobody really know.
Saint Ben: I can’t tell you. If God want this monastery to be forgotten, it has to be forgotten. God want people to remember me from Monte Casino only and nobody ever know where are graves of monks who put poison to my wine. But I learn a lot from this monks and a lot of inspiration to Rules came from them. I will never forgot what the teach me. Rules are much more liberal because of them.
Bad thing can be happened to good people, however we are able to learn ever more from bad events that from good. Bad events are not able to kill our true spirit if we are in good relationship with God who leading us to realize our true call. God will reward us ever more if we are open to listen his voice and if we are forgiving and kind to our enemies.
Bad events can also wake us up and helps learn the true about the World and people around. Bad events can make us more mature and less naive, but hopefully also more understanding and kind for the weak and sinful others.
Picture from the book “The Monk” by Matthew Lewis
(first published in 1796)