Why do bad things happen to good people?

I have a friend who is very sick.  She is a great example of Catholic faith and love but she is suffering.  I ask myself why?  I'm sure many of us have asked ourselves this question one time or another.  So I pondered on this for some time and while I was taking a shower this morning, it hit me!  I believe when we are alone and still God can speak to our hearts, and this is what was on mine this morning.

There are 3 types of people in the world, the disbeliever (atheist), the mediocre, and the passionate.  The disbeliever is one who has completely given up hope. They go through life repressing their feelings to their creator, they live normal lives, have normal jobs, live in normal homes, but when you are suffering they can not offer you any comfort or hope...they only have knowledge of tangible, wordly things.  

Then there is the mediocre person.  This is the most popular kind of person.  We find them in Atheists, the righteous, religious, and spiritual forms.  Everyone from every walk of life can fall into the mediocre category.  The worst kind of mediocre person is the righteous mediocre.  He thinks he's living out his faith but actually he is just trying to get through the day without ticking anyone off or ruffling any feathers.  A mediocre can be rich or poor, go to church every week, or not at all, they usually have good friends, fun times, nice things, and a job they neither love or hate.  Most people fall into this category.  

Last, there are the passionates.  They live a bold life, they speak truth even when they know it might tick someone off, they love with their entire heart but know they stand a good chance of being stabbed in it.  They have some friends but eventually their friends get tired of them standing on a soapbox and they slowly start to fade away, they stop calling or finding time for their passionate "friend".  Passionate people realize they are different but they can't stop themselves, they love their faith and they intend on living it out...at almost any cost.  They are misunderstood and talked about.  If a passionate person tried to work for a righteous person the righteous person would most probably feel threatened.  They have difficult lives and live through very difficult circumstances, but they can not do it differently, even for someone they love.  They have to be true to themselves and to God.  

So if there is so much suffering for the passionate, why do they do it?  Why don't they just live a mediocre life like everyone else?  Doesn't it seem easier?  And in the end, if everyone ends up in the same place (heaven) wasn't it all for nothing?  In those questions lies your answer.  An answer no one wants to hear.  I believe that when our day comes to meet our Maker and judge, He will give the keys to the kingdom of heaven to those who suffered for him, who lived their faith passionately and proudly, in spite of the persecution from others or the physical suffering.  If they endure to the end, THEY alone will enter the pearly gates.  

Recall the story of Lazarus:

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “

We are called to be different, to be a model of Christian love to the world.  In order to be that model we must be different than the mediocre man.  We must be a witness to others.  That's why I believe "bad" things happen to good people, because they are different then you and me, they are passionate people full of love and charity, but mostly they are filled with HOPE!  They hope in the Lord and in obtaining those keys to the kingdom of heaven, something our mediocre minds can not conceive.  

Let us live and love passionately, and if we can't, let us at least admire those who do.


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