By POPE BENEDICT XVI
It is no accident that faith in God flows from a “head sore-wounded,” from a crucified man, and that atheism has Epicurus for father and originates in the world of the satisfied onlooker.
Remarkably enough, the claim that there can no longer be any God, the claim, that is, that God has completely disappeared, is the urgent conclusion drawn by onlookers at the terror, the people who view the horrors from the cushioned comfort of their own prosperity and attempt to pay their tribute to it and ward it off from themselves by saying, “If such things can happen, there is no God!”
But among those who are themselves immersed in the fearful reality the effect is not infrequently just the opposite: It is precisely then that they discover God. In this world of suffering, adoration has continued to rise up from the fiery furnaces of the crematories and not from the spectators of the horror.
It is no accident that the people who in their history have been the most condemned to suffering, who did not have to wait for 1940-1945 to be in “Auschwitz,” also became the people of revelation, the people that have known God and made him visible to the world. And it is no accident that the human being who has been the most afflicted and has suffered most — Jesus of Nazareth — was and is revelation itself. It is no accident that faith in God flows from a “head sore-wounded,” from a crucified man, and that atheism has Epicurus for father and originates in the world of the satisfied onlooker…
We must also learn that in addition to the Real Presence of Jesus in Church and sacrament there is that other, second real presence of Jesus in the least of our brethren, in the downtrodden of this world; he wants us to find him in all of them.
Pope Benedict XVI. “Discovering God in Our Suffering.” from Dogma and Preaching (Chicago, IL: Franciscan Herald Press, 1985).
This excerpt appeared in Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI.