Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Thirty-Six: St. Clement says don’t blame God for what bad people do

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Thirty-Six: St. Clement says don’t blame God for what bad people do December 4, 2014

st_clement_of_alexandria_1Don’t blame God for what bad people do

God gave us free will, and we often misuse it. When Christians are persecuted, says St. Clement of Alexandria, it’s not God who makes it happen: every judge who condemns them has a free will and is using it wrongly.

But if God cares for you, they say, then why are you persecuted and put to death? Did God make that happen?

No, we don’t suppose that the Lord wants disasters to happen to us, but that he foretold prophetically what would happen. He said we’d be persecuted for his name’s sake, slaughtered and impaled. So it’s not that he wanted us to be perse­cuted, but that he predicted what would happen and warned us that we would suffer—training us in endurance, to which he promised the inheritance.

But the injustice of the judge does not affect the providence of God. The judge must be master of his own opinion; he’s not pulled by strings like some inanimate machine, moved only by external causes. So he is judged by his judg­ment—just as we are judged by our choice of what things are desirable, and by our endurance.

St. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellany, 4.11

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

Am I tempted to blame God for bad things that happen to me?

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, use me as an instrument to help overcome violence and establish your law of justice and love.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Remember to subscribe to my feed so you will not miss a day! This recurring feature at The Catholic Blogger is possible through the cooperation of author Mike Aquilina and publisher Saint Benedict Press. To get your own copy of this book, click below.

"I was raised in the New Age, it's very dangerous. I'm grateful that I'm now ..."

The Dangers of the New Age ..."
"i agree that "new age" stuff is nonsense but it isn't dangerous, it's silly - ..."

The Dangers of the New Age ..."
"And now we have Marianne Williamson running for President. Wonderful."

The Dangers of the New Age ..."
"tl;dr - no, I can't provide any evidence for my baseless assertions."

Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment