The Light Shines on in the Darkness

Contending with Suffering and Evil through Faith

Written by Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

Street date: April 2017


Why would an all-loving God allow suffering? Aren’t suffering and love opposed to one another? Does suffering have any benefit for this life? Does it have any benefit for eternal life? Is there any objective evidence for God – for a soul that will survive bodily death – for the resurrection of Jesus? If there is testable, objective evidence for a resurrection, what is this resurrection like? Who is God anyway – benevolent and loving or angry and retributive?

Father Spitzer gives a comprehensive explanation of contemporary evidence for God, the soul, and the resurrection, and helps us understand how God uses suffering to lead us to the resurrection, and to compassion for others. He also shows how the Holy Spirit guides us through times of suffering toward our salvation – and other’s salvation, explaining the signs and interior movements that reveal the Spirit’s actions.

But even armed with this eternal perspective, serious questions remain. If God has power over nature, why doesn’t He just perform a lot more miracles when we pray for them so that we won’t have to suffer? Why did God make the natural world imperfect in the first place? Wouldn’t it have been better to create us in a world without suffering – without challenge, need, and self-sacrifice?

Father Spitzer not only addresses the perplexing questions associated with suffering but he teaches us how to suffer well. He points out some of the most common errors we make in interpreting God’s motives for and alleviation of suffering. He explains why suffering – in combination with love – is one of the most powerful motivating agents for personal, cultural, and societal development. Suffering and love are inextricably bound up with one another on the highest levels of human meaning.


To purchase the book from Ignatius Press, click here.

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