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Question

Dear Father Angelo,

(Hello), I have been asking myself this question for a while: Judaism, Christianity and Islam all descend from Abraham. God is Omnipotent and Omniscient, which also means that He already knew from the beginning, when he spoke to Abraham, what would have happened over time between generations (chaos between religions). If Israel was or is His chosen people why did he allow all this? Wars etc.

I am Catholic and currently have been reading the psalms that at times leave me confused (an impression: it seems to me that sometimes God instigates wars or other same sort of things).

Thank you


Answer

Dearest,

1. even before the descendants of Abraham, enmity arose among the sons of Adam: that of Cain against his brother Abel to the point that the former killed the latter.

Why did God allow it?

2. The rebellion against God caused by sin is never without consequences: it causes rebellion within man so that certain tendencies want to be satisfied on their own, causing insubordination and imbalance within the person himself. So it is, for example, the case of a drug addict or an alcoholic.

3. It also causes man’s rebellion against his neighbour, as we saw between Adam and Eve: before the original sin there was perfect peace between them. After the sin, Adam accused Eve and Eve in turn accused the serpent.

4. The Second Vatican Council, in the pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes, maintains that the reason for man’s rebellion to his fellow men is man’s rebellion to God:

“Although he was made by God in a state of holiness, from the very onset of his history man abused his liberty, at the urging of the Evil One. Man set himself against God and sought to attain his goal apart from God. Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, but their senseless minds were darkened and they served the creature rather than the Creator. What divine revelation makes known to us agrees with experience. Examining his heart, man finds that he has inclinations toward evil too, and is engulfed by manifold ills which cannot come from his good Creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his beginning, man has disrupted also his proper relationship to his own ultimate goal as well as his whole relationship toward himself and others and all created things. Therefore, man is split within himself. As a result, all of human life, whether individual or collective, shows itself to be a dramatic struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. Indeed, man finds that by himself he is incapable of battling the assaults of evil successfully, so that everyone feels as though he is bound by chains”(GS 13).

5. And again: “The truth is that the imbalances under which the modern world labors are linked with that more basic imbalance which is rooted in the heart of man. For in man himself many elements wrestle with one another. Thus, on the one hand, as a creature he experiences his limitations in a multitude of ways; on the other he feels himself to be boundless in his desires and summoned to a higher life. Pulled by manifold attractions he is constantly forced to choose among them and renounce some. Indeed, as a weak and sinful being, he often does what he would not, and fails to do what he would. Hence, he suffers from internal divisions, and from these flow so many and such great discords in society.“(GS 10).

6. The Catechism of the Catholic Church goes deeper than the Council itself and writes:

The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. 

Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject “to its bondage to decay” (Ro 8,20).

Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will “return to the ground”, for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history. (CCC 400).

After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin. There is Cain’s murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. and even after Christ’s atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians. (CCC 401).

7. Each of our sins causes something similar to what original sin produced.

However, we must not be discouraged.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church writes: «The mystery of lawlessness» (2 Th 2: 7) is clarified only in the light of the «mystery of our religion» (1 Ti 3:16).

The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace. 

We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on Him who alone is its conqueror.”(CCC 385).

It is good to go back from time to time with our reflection to the origins of evil and of the divisions among men.

I thank you for the question, I entrust you to God and I bless you.

Father Angelo