Taylor Marshall has some helpful insignts into the perennial problem of our understanding the presence of evil. His thoughts may also give you a renewed interest in the liturgies Christians have relied on for many centuries.

Hopefully, his article will give some new clarity in your mind about liturgies as well as the problem of evil. His other recommendations at the end of the article you may find at The
Liturgy Answers the Problem of Evil

Posted by Taylor Marshall
The Problem of Evil is a perennial problem for
those who try to seek God’s will. If I seek to follow God, why do I suffer? I
pray and grow poor. My neighbor curses God and grows rich? How is this just?
This mystery is revealed in light of the Christ: God loved His Son and even He
suffered more than any.
Even though I know the theological answer and I
accept that redemption involves suffering (“unless you take up your cross daily
you are not worthy to be my disciple”), I still struggle against suffering in my
One Psalm in particular is helpful for me –
Psalm 72 in the Vulgate (or Psalm 73 in other Bibles). Here, King David laments
how the “wicked prosper,” and he observes that those who despise God continue to
enjoy life. The wicked don’t worry about death (v. 4). They don’t have to work
hard or suffer (v. 5). The wicked are prideful, healthy, and wealthy (v. 6).
They curse and blaspheme (vv. 7-9) – think of all those that take God’s name in
vain repeatedly and yet they prosper upon the earth!
Then David asks in v. 11,
“Doesn’t God know this? Doesn’t God see these people becoming rich and
David cries out:
Then have I in vain justified my heart, and washed my
hands among the innocent. And I have been scourged all the day; and my
chastisement hath been in the mornings. I will speak thus; behold I should
condemn the generation of thy children (vv. 13-15).
David ponders this problem and he worries about
it. But then he finds the answer – the answer is liturgical. Yes, the liturgy of
God is what opens his eyes to the truth – a sacramental answer comes from
[16] I studied that I might know this thing, it is a
labour in my sight: [17] Until I go into the sanctuary of God, and understand
concerning their last ends.
[18] But indeed for deceits thou hast put it to

them: when they were lifted up thou hast cast them down. [19] How are they
brought to desolation? they have suddenly ceased to be: they have perished by
reason of their iniquity. [20] As the dream of them that awake, O Lord; so in
thy city thou shalt bring their image to nothing.
David’s heart doesn’t understand the problem
of evil “until I go into the sanctuary of God,” and then he “understands
concerning their last ends.”
Within the Temple, in the presence of God, God
realizes that His presence is with His people. He also realizes that God is the
judge and that this life does not compare to what has been promised by God to
those who remain faithful. The present circumstances do not constitute true
happiness or true beatitude. David sees that the wicked will be “brought to
desolation” for their crimes.
The rest of the Psalm is beautiful as David
reflects on God in the sanctuary:

[24] Thou hast held me by my right hand; and by thy will thou hast
conducted me, and with thy glory thou hast received me. [25] For what have I in
heaven? and besides thee what do I desire upon earth?
[26] For thee my flesh
and my heart hath fainted away: thou art the God of my heart, and the God that
is my portion for ever. [27] For behold they that go far from thee shall perish:
thou hast destroyed all them that are disloyal to thee. [28] But it is good for
me to adhere to my God, to put my hope in the Lord God: That I may declare all
thy praises, in the gates of the daughter of Sion.

David’s desires turn from earth to Heaven. His
desire is for God. He body and soul faint for love of God. He realizes that he
is made by God to praise God and enjoy Him forever. Note again how the Psalm
ends with his desire to worship God: “But it is good for me to adhere to my God,
to put my hope in the Lord God: That I may declare all thy praises.”
If you struggle with the problem of evil,
follow David. Go to Church, kneel before the crucified Savior in the tabernacle
and open you heart. The troubles of life and the desire to compare your life to
the fortunes of others will fade away. “Thou hast held me by my right hand; and
by thy will thou hast conducted me, and with thy glory thou hast received
The problem of evil cannot be solved through
debate. Rather it wwon’t be solved “until I go into the sanctuary of

About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
This entry was posted in evil, liturgies, nature of evil, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


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