Why All People Suffer

How a Loving God Uses Suffering to Perfect Us

$18.95

About this item

Suffering is one of the most challenging and inescapable mysteries of life — even for the innocent. Thinkers have long been vexed by the idea that a good God permits suffering, and it has been a stumbling block for many souls striving to live lives of faith.

But what if we’ve been looking at suffering improperly all this time? What if, instead of serving as evidence against God, suffering represented the very proof of a loving God?

In this transformative and enlightening book, Dr. Paul Chaloux — adjunct professor of theology at the Catholic University of America — demonstrates that suffering is not retribution from an angry, vengeful God but the saving action of a loving God who directs us away from evil and toward eternal joy in Heaven.

Educated in his own “school of suffering,” Dr. Chaloux explains the four tasks of suffering that are essential in the economy of salvation and why, if suffering were to be abolished, no one would be saved. Using well-known stories from Scripture and the lives of the saints, he explains numerous other aspects of God’s use of evil and suffering in His plan for our salvation, including:

  • How suffering is not a punishment from God but a gift to the guilty and the innocent alike

  • Why suffering is not evil but rather an “evil-detector”

  • Why suffering needs to be harsh and persistent to protect and perfect us

  • How to recognize and respond joyfully to God’s call in the face of loss, disability, injury, illness, and death 

  • How we are acting as messengers of God when we witness to our own suffering

 

Paul Scherz photo

"In this book, Paul Chaloux provides an accessible synthesis of Catholic teaching on suffering. Drawing on the wisdom of the tradition, he confronts some of moral theology’s most challenging debates over evil, justice, and divine providence.""

Paul Scherz
Science and Christian Ethics
Marie Pappas photo

"Paul takes up one of the most challenging human questions: Why suffering? A relentless and creative thinker, he speaks with reasoned clarity. He offers the reader a practical spiritual understanding and progression for living with and through the inevitability of suffering. Paul Chaloux is the teacher every learner wishes he or she had. He teaches so that we learn to live well."

Marie Pappas
C.R.
Johnnette Williams photo

"

This is a book you should read, its a book we all should read because it will help you in times of trouble.

"

Johnnette Williams
EWTN Women of Grace
  • Pages: 304
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-64413-421-4
  • Product Code: 4214
  • Availability: In Stock
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Loved it, Loved it, Loved it!
Wonderful scholarship and very attractively presented. It is an inspirational read. Fr. Robert Grattorati St. Joseph’s Church Charlton, Massachusettts
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Paul Chaloux examines the reasons why a loving God allows suffering in our lives, even for those who are most faithful in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul uses illustrations from the Bible to demonstrate how suffering can be a refining benefit, if we embrace the suffering and continue to be thankful for God's redeeming grace. I have known Paul for many years, as a colleague working for the same multinational company, and I can attest to the fact that this book is also a story of Paul's journey through life, and the physical sufferings that he has endured as a child, and now as an adult. Paul exemplifies the challenge presented to all who face suffering in 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Your thinking will be challenged, and your heart will be encouraged and blessed as you read and ponder the contents of this book.
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A Necessary Book
I am delighted to have encountered a work that so clearly and methodically addresses one of the knottiest issues a faithful Catholic can face: the problem of suffering. In my experience, the problem of suffering is among the biggest reasons why a person may turn away from the Catholic faith or hesitate from embracing it in the first place. The idea that a good God, who has power over every occurrence in the world, will allow terrible tragedy is a puzzling one. It seems to undermine the core Catholic notion that God was good and loving enough to take on a human nature and become our Savior. Add to that the fact that “the problem of suffering” is rarely theoretical, and it is very easy to see why one would allow suffering to get in the way of one’s relationship with God. The thing is, the Catholic Church has an answer to the “problem of suffering”. Why All People Suffer by Doctor Paul Chaloux is the most comprehensive, well-sourced account of this answer that I have yet come across. Drawing from such seminal theologians as Benedict XVI and St. Thomas Aquinas, Chaloux presents some of the Church’s most compelling arguments as to why suffering is an important element of our lives and how it in fact calls us to a deeper relationship with a God who also suffered on the cross. Why All People Suffer isn’t all summery of Church teaching and past theologians’ positions, however. Chaloux also presents some fascinating original concepts. For example, one that I found to be particularly insightful was the idea that it is a categorical error to consider suffering to be intrinsically problematic. Chaloux broaches this idea immediately, during a discussion of Epicurus’ declaration that the presence of suffering indicates a deficient God. Epicurus, Chaloux points out, didn’t consider that suffering might exist to bring about good. This idea colours the rest of the book as we are invited to reconsider the nature of suffering, and view the effects of suffering in a way we never have before. A book that recategorizes suffering, proposing it as something that can bring about good, is not just for Catholics. The idea that suffering is not meaningless ought to bring hope to anybody of any or no faith. Chaloux backs his proposition with logic and clarity that extends beyond the teachings of the Catholic Church and that can appeal to anyone with an open mind. The methods by which one can “put suffering to use” can bring fulfillment and hope to the lives of anyone. I heartily recommend this book!
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Dr. Chaloux's book provides a thorough mechanism for each of us to examine our own suffering and the suffering going on around us, through the lens of the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church. Deacon Chris Merenda
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Informative
If you're looking for answers to why you or a loved one has or is suffering so much, this will certainly give you a guide to understanding God's ways. It's instructional and full of meaning and purpose. Reading this book changed my perspective to the point that I feel differently about suffering and the reasons why suffering is always going to be a part of everyone's life. I now have the framework to deal with why all people suffer.
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