How can I put this succinctly? God, in my time of need you abandoned me. I suffered when I was unable to defend myself in my youth. My voice was taken from me. My youth was stolen. To this day I carry scars of your indifference. As a child of God, I like Job, was blameless for the tragedies and suffering that surrounded me. I need not detail them here for you. You know them in detail. My readers need not know my details as well. They know when you have abandoned them. I am not alone, if people are honest. They had to face your absence when they were most in need of you.
Our priest despite detailed accounts by St. Theresa of Avilla (the Dialogue) laying out their perverse ways – are centuries later no better if not worse than the common thief. The child sexual predator is indeed at the bottom of the hierarchy in any jail – disdained and spit on by convicts and jailors alike. And yet our church has provided a safe harbor for them, equipped with a home, disguises of various bright colors, retreat houses, legal supports, transfers, and access to innocent children. If you are a personal God who uses all that is available to you, how have you not used spiritual warriors and institutions of justice to expose and end this evil harbored within your own church? Surely this was a place for execution of Divine Providence. Were these priest truly acting safely under the stewardship of the devil, reveling in their free will knowing that you would not act?
You prosecute or abandon the holy as well. Our church makes saints of martyrs who died in your name. Where were you when they were they murdered for preaching your message? You left Mother Teresa for decades, dry of spiritual consolation while she fed and served your impoverished and sickly children. And what about those children? Worldwide Genocide, Rape, War, Abortion, Starvation, Diseases, Disasters, Legalized murder, Illness, Disabilities, and crippling Pain crush good people. Is this Diving Providence?
I am not counted among the Holy caste or included in the group of those who perpetuate great evils. I am just an everyday man seeking your presence and striving to do the next right thing moment by moment. Your benign indifference left me scarred and battered. My trust in mankind and you fractured. My trust in myself a shambles. My heart and soul riddled with shame, fear, anger, self-debasement, and sadness. Eventually numbness and survival took precedent. My ways became far from perfect and I made many grave errors along the way. I was no longer blameless like Job, and I was left weak and fragile in the ways of holiness despite yearning for your saving grace. My weakness and fragility only further debilitated my ability to serve you and grow in living a virtuous life. I have gave up on you several times in early life – even having claimed you to be dead to others in the height of my pain. Nietzsche was my God, philosophy my safe haven, and alcohol my friend. While I have ownership today of my personal responsibility in my failures, the landscape of good and evil inheritances is dispersed arbitrarily in this living hell. Is this divine providence?
I do not know how to be a good apologetic for the faith in the face of this world’s unjust and oppressive nature. Sure I could give my subjective experiences and suffering. I could tell numerous stories of my perceptions of when you have answered my prayers or simply knocked me in the head when I was too stubborn to pray. The grace that I perceive you have given me can be seen though as either a) blatant delusion and spiritual narcissism or b) insignificant relative to the immense suffering of others. Where is their help?
Surely a God of your power could provide a way for us to develop spiritual formation without spiritual deprivation and for some, a misery so profound here on earth, that hell is seemingly recreated. Like Job, I demand you reveal yourself. You no longer have credible witnesses on earth. The church has fallen even though its edifices stand tall and its pews collect the wounded still each Sunday. More have left quietly in sadness and disbelief or with great anger and rage. Is this your divine providence?
Priest today are incapable of defending the faith. Their sermons on suffering and salvation are reaching few. Even spiritual direction one on one is lacking substance to explain the state of things – relying on strained salvation theology that is over two thousand years old.
Show us how we are supposed to live a sanctified life amidst the evil and suffering in this world. Where is the evidence of Jesus’s atonement for us, where is the holy spirit guiding mankind?
End of Is God Dead Part I