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Lawrence and I began this blog to discuss our faith with our friends. Anyone is welcome to chime in. Please leave a comment. There is lots of action in the Com Box! Also see our most popular posts for the week on the right. God bless you. Susan Fox


Friday, April 18, 2014

MURDER OF INNOCENTS: Out of Evil Comes a Greater Good

by Susan Fox

Bishop A.M. Blanchet watched in horror as members of his flock killed white settlers in Eastern Washington. It was how they did it that caused him the most anguish: “easily and with gaiety of heart,” he wrote, “whooping and hollering.” 


A white French Canadian, Bishop Blanchet has the distinction of being the first bishop of Nisqually – later known as the dioceses of Seattle and Spokane. He kept a journal in French; traveled the early American frontier cooking altar breads over an open fire; he was accosted and mistreated by prejudiced pastors of other denominations. And he witnessed the atrocities of the “red” men he loved and considered his own.  

In the mid-1800s, he wrote a letter addressed to these men using the term of address, “Mes pauvres sauvages.” (My poor savages or my poor wild men) It was an anguished and compassionate letter from a spiritual father. While he was obviously distressed by their actions, he never lost faith in the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest “because it cannot be doubted that when the Indians will understand the seriousness of the crime of homicide, they will avoid committing it.”

In his letter, he explained that he merely felt he had a job to do as a missionary: “As they learn to know God – that will inspire their horror of all these terrible crimes that they commit now so easily.”

He was a successful evangelist. I’ve attended Mass side by side with descendants of those same Indians in Eastern Washington. Their liturgy was celebrated in Salish.
Twitter Wild Man

I kept his spiritual advice in mind as I met the same group of “wild men” on Twitter this week. They insisted that children in the womb are not human beings. They are simply cancer cells. A woman has the right to have her appendices out. A baby is no different than a cancer cell, they argued in 140 characters or less.

Humorously, I recalled having my appendices out in Grenoble, France, in 1974. It was the practice in France to give the patient the portion of the body removed after the surgery! I woke up in a French hospital with a test tube lying next to me. Yep, sure enough, it contained my appendices!

They did not look like a baby, I swear. They looked like long pink stringy things. How embarrassing that the inside of one’s body could be so very ugly.

I have the personal experience -- unfortunately -- to explain to you the difference between my ugly appendices and an unborn baby. I miscarried my son Raphael in 1985. It was about six to eight weeks from conception. 

As the Twitter atheists said, Raphael did drop into the toilet. They implied this made him something less than human. But we pulled him out and baptized him, and brought him into the hospital where I was to have a DNC.

And even the doctor agreed he was unmistakably a very small human being. I recognized my husband’s long face and legs. And while my stringy appendices had my DNA, Raphael didn’t. He had his own. Therefore, he is not my organ or my cancer. He is his own person, with his own personal right to life. If I have the right to “choose” what is done with my body, then Raphael should have an equal right, and that requires him to be born and raised.

Yet this week I was accused of lacking “science” by a science major in grad school, my dear atheist tweeter. In his mind women are ruled by “hormones,” must have uncontrolled sex, and then they are rudely occupied by infant invaders who must be firmly repelled medically in abortion. Under this scenario, the human race is actually an alien band of parasites!

“Abortion is not murder because it deals with a part of a woman's body, not a life,” he said. Another atheist argued, “If you need an organ, should your mother be forced by law to donate?” He referred to the womb.

One of my new pro-life twitter friends, responded, “A ridiculous argument that has NOTHING to do with the subject.”  But the second atheist responded, “It does actually. Why do fetuses have the right to use a body without consent?”

I responded, “The mother practicing self-mastery gives consent when she has sexual relations.”

“No, she doesn’t. Consent to sex isn’t consent to pregnancy!” the atheist shot back. This led to an argument on the ineffectiveness of birth control. “Only abstinence works,” I said. And it doesn’t damage the health of either the mother or the father.  Birth control endangers women’s health, and vasectomies are associated with brain damage.

My son did not choose to come into existence. He didn’t -- with his life -- occupy my womb without my consent. My husband and I were waiting in love for our child, and we actually watched for the best time to conceive. There was nothing involuntary about my womb being occupied by another human being, nothing requiring us to expel the “little invader.” And when we lost him, there was no greater suffering. I simply can’t describe it.
Atheist View of Women

To suggest that women are helpless rag dolls who can’t keep their legs together is to suggest that women are incapable of self-mastery – that, in fact, they are as wild and savage as the atheist barbarians arguing on Twitter.

So I started asking questions. And the first atheist tweeter admitted that his mother had an abortion, and his “girlfriends” had abortions.

Here we are all upset and shocked because a 39-year-old woman in Utah kept seven dead infants in her garage, children she bore at home while her three teenage daughters lived in the house. She is charged with six counts of murder (the seventh baby was still born).  No one doubts that it was infant murder – right after birth. What is the difference between infanticide and abortion? Five minutes.

So how would a man deal with the knowledge that his mother murdered one of his siblings? And he was spared? Loving his mother, wouldn’t he decide that what she had done was to simply remove unwanted tissue? He says that’s not the case. “I support abortion not out of loyalty (to my mother), but because it's the right thing to do.  Women shouldn't be forced to be pregnant.” 

Behind those words, however, I sense a story of great fear on his mother’s part. And his family is not alone. Fifty-seven million abortions in the U.S. since 1973, but how many brothers and sisters survived and were affected by those 57 million decisions? We could have hundreds of millions of walking wounded in the United States.
Baby Oven: A Woman Willing to Bear Children
According to An Atheist 

I asked my tweeter atheist how he felt about the “decision” his girlfriend made to have an abortion. He answered, “I respected it. My girl is not my baby oven. She is her own person.” But his child is not.

Patience is required. In 150 years, our country has come full circle. The wild Indians are now law-abiding Catholics, and the population is infiltrated with wild men, who think nothing of murdering their own children. The time of Moloch has emerged. Child sacrifice is the new norm, but this time the false god’s name is FEAR. Maybe that’s what Moloch meant the first time around too. But today the New Barbarians wear suits, carry iPads and have college degrees.
Moloch
the god of child sacrifice

Atheists are bitter when they see bad things happen in the world. Stories like Noah’s Ark and the Exodus make them think, "If God exists, He is mean."

My husband has been trying to explain to them that God takes responsibility for evil. Even though He does not directly cause it, He promises to handle it – to bring good out of evil.

God tried to show us how He would repair our “mistake” in the Garden by sending His Son to become man and die for us. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.

Early Christians seemed to get this message that is ignored and buried today. In an Easter homily, the second century bishop of Sardis, St. Melito, said, “For the sake of suffering humanity he came down from heaven to earth, clothed himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself ... and by his Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.” Death entered the world through man’s fall. God came to earth to fix our “mistakes,” not His. Everything God made was good. 
Behold the Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sins of the World
The good bishop goes on to explain: “He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of his was broken; in the earth his body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead, and who raised man from the depths of the tomb.”

Death where is thy sting?

This Easter Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado near where I live. This story is perfect atheist fodder. Two students entered the school on April 20, 1999, and sprayed the library with bullets, killing 12 students, one teacher and injuring 26 more before taking their own lives.

The Denver Catholic Register this week wrote about the Columbine tragedy with the headline, “Out of evil comes A GREATER GOOD.”

Students who survived spoke of the joy they had in their lives despite their injuries. Patrick Ireland was shot in the head, arm, leg and foot that day. He spent three hours in and out of consciousness pushing himself slowly toward a shot-out window. When he reached it, he hurled himself out to rescuers.

He had to relearn how to walk, talk and retrain his memory. But he finished high school on schedule, went on to college, married his college sweetheart, had a daughter and manages an insurance office. Forgiveness was an important part of his recovery.

“We have a choice of how we live our lives, choosing to be a victor or a victim on a daily basis... Being a victor is a conscious decision,” Ireland said, adding that “God has a plan. If that was my purpose to be used as a tool for greater things, then I’m happy to be able to serve that way.”

Sean Graves has had 47 surgeries since he was shot in the back six times 15 years ago. “I don’t think the pain is something that will ever change,” he said. “But it’s a blessing and a gift to still be here and do all the things I can do.”

A member of St. Frances Cabrini Church in Littleton, he and his wife, Kara, serve as peer mentors with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation for people living with paralysis. Mr. Graves spent four years in a wheel chair, and was originally told he’d never walk again.  “I’m stubborn,” he said, “when they told me that, I took it as a personal challenge.” Today he walks.

God showed great tenderness and respect for the Blessed Virgin Mary in the manner he used to gain her consent to become the Mother of His Son. 

St. Luke reported Our Lady’s response to the Lord’s invitation through the Angel Gabriel: “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word.” Doesn’t her answer remind you of Patrick Ireland’s response?  “If that was my purpose to be used as a tool for greater things, then I’m happy to be able to serve that way.”

I don’t think a God like that would create men and women who are “invaded” by “cancer cells” that magically turn into human beings. No, that sounds like a fairy tale created by someone in a red suit with horns on his head.


Neither would I expect the Blessed Mother to call herself a “baby oven.” Let us pray that the people, who think of pregnant women as “baby ovens,” have their stony hearts removed. May God give them hearts made of real flesh.

Watch this fascinating video of the human being developing  from seven weeks from conception. It jumps to the next video for the whole development automatically. Share with your atheist friends!
The Development of the Human Embryo from Seven Weeks.

You also might enjoy reading:   

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

THAT'S GOD'S AMORE: Sangre de Christo Mountains at Sunset and Moonrise


Moonrise over the Sangre de Christo Mountains, Santa Fe, NM
April 14, 2014
While you read, PLAY!  Dean Martin's "That's Amore" 

by Susan and Lawrence Fox
Lawrence Fox 

Susan Fox










Last night -- Tuesday of Holy Week -- we were driving along the Sangre de Christo Mountains in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I knew the name meant Blood of Christ, but I never knew why the Spanish had named the mountains for Christ's Blood. 


 Phoebe Wise -- fount of wisdom on all things Santa Fe
My friend, Phoebe Wise, was with us, and she explained that the mountains turn red or rose colored when the sun sets or rises especially when they have snow on them! 

Alpenglow is an optical phenomenon in which a horizontal red glowing band is observed on the horizon opposite to the sun when it is just below the horizon.


Sangre de Christo Mountain just after sunset on April 14, 2014

We saw the alpenglow on the Sangre de Christos at just the right moment. The sun  set. I shot the picture and planned to shoot another, but by the time I turned back the mountain had turned blue grey.  

That quick! 





But Nature wasn't done with us yet. Because we then witnessed an incredible moon rise over the same mountains. 



How fascinating that after years of visiting Santa Fe, the Lord chose to show us the alpenglow during Holy Week. 

That's God's Amore!

(In Napoli where love is king, When boy meets girl, here's what they say) 

When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool
That's amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore

(When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool)
That's amore
(When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli)
That's amore
Lucky fella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool)
That's amore
(When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli)
That's amore, (amore)
That's amore

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Unrestricted Abortion Comes to Colorado: DEMOCRATS PROMOTE VICE

 URGENT MESSAGE FROM LAWRENCE G. FOX TO COLORADO LEGISLATORS:
Regarding proposed Colorado Senate Bill 175 that would create a fundamental right to abortion and reproductive healthcare.
Addressed to: 
   * Governor John Hickenlooper

   * Lt. Governor Joseph Garcia
   * Secretary of State Scott Gessler
   * Attorney General John Suthers
   * Senator David Balmer
   * Representative Spencer Swalm

To all concerned,

It seems the time has finally arrived in which Democratic leaders within all branches of Federal and State Government spend each waking moment promoting the "Culture of Death." 

It seems the time has arrived in which those of us unable to live an integrated life continuously insist that such leadership  promote “our” personal form of vice. And the response from Democratic leadership has never been so positive on all levels. 

Will it never stop?

It seems Democratic leadership has nothing better to contribute to the common good except more “rights to abuse” including: abortion on demand, contraception, sodomy, infanticide, polygamy, prostitution, dope, and so-called "death with dignity." With such glee, these things are promoted while diminishing the moral conscience of others.

Democratic leadership has become so solipsistic that in spite of the scientific and commonsensical evidence, it cannot grasp the objective truth that developing human life begins at conception, that an unborn child experiences pain at 20 weeks and that partial birth abortion is infanticide. It seems Democratic leadership on all levels are little more than Kermit Gosnell cheerleaders.

What was the Democratic response to his house of horrors?
  • “He did not keep a clean abortion clinic!” 
  • “A woman died in the abortion clinic!” 

Of course a woman died. And so did hundreds of little girls and boys. And so did the hearts of those woman led to the abortion clinic by the active persuasion of Democratic leadership. 

What did the Democratic President say, “I will not punish my daughter with an unwanted child.” That's how to murder your grandchild to prevent your child from being inconvenienced.

Day by day, this post modern sickness grows -- even to the point that Democratic leadership values sodomy as a “good.” Yes, the termination of unborn children and the ingestion of fecal matter have both become enshrined in the hearts of Democratic Leadership -- with no shame.

The proposed SB 175, Colorado's Freedom of Choice Act, is  an example of extreme legislation that would have a destructive impact on Colorado's ability to live an integrated life. The bill will eliminate a broad range of laws including: parental notification laws, parental involvement laws, laws promoting maternal health, government programs and facilities that pay for or promote childbirth and other health care without subsidizing abortion, conscience protections laws, laws requiring that abortion only be performed by a licensed physician, laws regulating school health clinics, laws concerning abstinence education, laws affecting pregnancy centers. These are the real reasons for the promotion of SB175.  Democratic Leadership is bored with anything that  which does not include the death of an unborn child.

It is my hope that the above is not going to be enacted.

Vote like humans created for the Seventh Day, so that justice becomes once again the promotion of virtue, not the acceptance of vice.

Sincerely,

Lawrence Fox


Postscript from Susan Fox. Holy Thursday, April 17, 2014

A firestorm of public dissent led by the Roman Catholic Church caused Senate Democrats to scuttle SB 175, which would have imposed the most liberal abortion law in the nation on the state of Colorado. Colorado was clearly targeted to lead the nation in unrestricted abortion, paving the way to more liberal laws in other states. 

The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), which  supported the Colorado Reproductive Health "Freedom" Act, said "It's time to make sure Colorado stops attacks on reproductive health care once and for all," adding that they wanted to ensure pro-life protections "don't see the light of day." 

The law would have eliminated parental notification of a child's intent to have an abortion, conscience protection for health workers, and torpedoed abstinence education. 

"The potential scope of the bill is vast," said Denver Catholic Archbishop Samuel J Aquila. "And it's ability to keep crucial information from women in difficult situations, to throw away those children who are inconvenient or unwanted, is equally worrisome." 

He added that it would have prevented legislators from enforcing laws requiring an ultrasound before an abortion, waiting periods for those considering an abortion and thrown out health code regulations for abortion facilities. Parents could have lost the ability to opt their children out of public school classes on "reproductive health."  It was defeated.   Colorado Senate Democrats Spike Abortion Bill

In response to our protest of SB 175, we received the following cordial handwritten note from our Colorado Senator David Balmer, a Republican. 

"Mr. and Mrs. Fox,
Thank You for your voicemail. As a pro-life conservative, I am very opposed to Senate Bill 175. I'm honored to serve you at the Capitol. Thanks again. Respectfully, David."

I almost fainted with joy! We will continue to support his great man. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Fool Says in his Heart: There is no God

by Lawrence Fox
Inquiring minds like to ask, "Does God exist?"  A recurring argument made by atheists against the existence of God is the observed effects of evil in the world. “It would seem there is no God,” so goes the argument, “For if one of two mutually exclusive things were to exist unbounded, the other would be totally destroyed. But the word God implies some unbounded good. So, if God existed, no evil would ever be encountered. Evil is, however, encountered in the world. So God does not exist.”[1] 
My intention is to respond to this argument against the existence of God as a result of observed effects of evil in the world and demonstrate by way of faith and reason the following points: 1) the atheistic argument is notionally and subjectively shaped by an incomplete form of knowledge, 2) the Christian message provides an objective alternative to the atheistic argument,  3) God responds to and takes responsibility for the problem of evil, and 4) Evil is limited by the God’s providence.   
The Atheistic Response 
to the Problem of Evil
Evil is a scandal to many; especially when manifested in the form of human suffering caused by natural disasters, genetic imperfections, parasitical viruses, mistakes in human judgment, and irrational behavior perpetrated by persons who identify themselves as theists.[2] It can be safely said that if the admonitions of the prophet Isaiah were faithfully put into practice by God’s rational creatures, the problem of evil would be less scandalizing.[3]
“Wash yourselves clean, take your wrong doing out of my sight. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good, search for justice, help the oppressed, be just to the orphan and plead for the widow.” (Isa.1:16-18) Still, no quick answer to the problem of evil is sufficient.[4] In fact the systematic application of the atheistic “either-or” and “crisis of faith” response to the problem of evil epitomized by “there is no God” and “all things are random” unleashed upon the 20th century a level of devastation un-equaled in human history. Within Atheism there exists this “either-or” and “crisis of faith” tension that limits the ability to know how two truths are to be fitted together such as the presence of evil and the existence of God side by side so to speak.[5] This “either-or” and “crisis of faith” is rooted in a difficulty of perception.
 A Difficulty of Perception - 
Evil Side by Side with God
For the atheist, evil side by side with God is argued to be irrational, capricious, wasteful, unjust, simply an expression of selfish gene, with all arguments coalescing into the straw man rebuke, “It is pathological to believe in an Omnipotent Creator capable of all things good, while acting so impotently towards evil?” 
Fr. Thomas Dubay S.J. observes there does not seem to be the problem of evil until someone admits the existence of God which brings into the equation an inherently moral difficulty.[6]  Atheism as an expression of the subjective will, finds difficulties with any dependence upon God. The difficulty is one of reconciling human freedom with moral laws instituted by God in Nature and Divine Revelation. It is a “crisis of faith” in opposition to the promises made by Jesus Christ to his disciples: “If you keep my commands, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) The difficulty also stems from the decision to embrace a form of knowledge that limits an Atheist’s perception of the world around them.
 Perceptions Limited by the Theory of Phenomena
Atheism embraces a system of thought which states that only the phenomena of things can be known with certainty. The phenomena would be those things capable of being observed and measured by the senses (accidentals, particulars).  
How does someone quantitatively 
measure good and evil? 
Atheism as a system of thought embraces a notion which quantifies “goodness” and “power” as the efficient removal of evil. God is notionally inefficient in the matter; notions about the existence of God are completely subjective, human reason cannot know with certainty that God exists. Since God does not notionally exist, it is up to humans (non theists) to remove evil (subjectively defined) by the use of “power.”
Prior systems of thought which attempted to answer the question, “How shall I live?” have been replaced by the form “Might makes right.” In contradistinction, a system of thought which seeks to know the noumena of things in themselves - a reasoned knowledge built upon the philosophical and metaphysical principles of non-contradiction, “cause and effect,” “actualization and potency,” “participation,” “exitus & reditus ” and “the whole being greater than the sum of the parts” - is brushed aside when approaching the problem of evil, good, and the existence of God.
Applying the Art of Limited Perception
Science is the art of quantifying things. Flaws in human genetic material -- “the parts” -- are quantifiably observed. This observation convinces the atheist to conclude that inefficiency exists in the order of created things.[7] Therefore notions of God guiding creation are not reasonable; since inefficiency would not exist if “man was God.” The atheist demonstrates that “the parts” exceed the grandeur of “the whole.” 
The highly tuned cosmos - out of which living things come forth and are sustained - is not tuned and no longer perceived to be good. Since the cosmos is not good, the life which springs forth from the cosmos is not intrinsically good. The Aristotelian perception identifying evil as a defect in either the agent (cause) or in the effect (receiver of that cause) preventing perfect participation in the good is strictly directed by the atheist to the agent (cause) God.[8]
Since God cannot exist, the atheist is compelled to conclude that randomness governs and answers the cause of genetic flaws. The atheist is then compelled to put forth multiplied assumptions, conditions, causes, and events necessary to bring forth complex forms of life in contradiction to the principle of parsimony.[9]  The simpler explanation that God acts perfectly as the primary cause, but needs nature’s activity as secondary cause, is not considered. God could, of course, produce the effects of nature without nature, but nevertheless wills them to be done through nature so that “order” be and remain preserved in all things.[10]
In essence, God wills to respect created freedom in nature and the free will of man and woman; both goods which have the potential of expressing diminished goodness (evil). Evil as such is incidental to the good which is creation. Instead, the atheistic response to the problem of evil is similar to those of the Sophists, to whom Aristotle responded, “Sophistic thought is nothing by apparent wisdom and in no wise real…”[11]  Sacred Scripture identifies such a perceptive condition as foolish. “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” (Ps.14:1) The alternative and preferred approach to the problem of evil is one which embraces a noumenal approach integrating both faith and reason.
Noumenal Approach to the Problem of Evil – Christian Faith and Reason
Knowledge of a thing requires pursuing a basis for understanding the causes of that thing.[12] A limited knowledge of something is no knowledge at all. Aristotle reasoned that the proper knowledge of something requires a systematic review of the material, formal, efficient, and final cause of that thing. This systematic pursuit is integral to the science of metaphysics. Material cause is the matter from which the thing is made. The formal cause is the image and plan upon which the material is formed. The efficient cause is that which actualizes the change in the thing. The final cause is the intended purpose of that thing.[13] As such an atheistic inquiry into problem of evil - limited to material random causes alone - is no knowledge at all.
In a remarkable way, the 1st and 2nd chapters of Sacred Scripture describe in both metaphysical and sacred terms the origins, material, formal, efficient, and final cause of the cosmos and humanity as well as the ill-mannered pursuit of “the knowledge of good and evil” and the consequences of that pursuit. Sacred Scripture - a written dialogue between God and man in inspired and inerrant form - provides a more complete knowledge of “that thing.” 
In the beginning, God creates both the visible and invisible from nothing (ex nihilo). God actualizes the created potent material and shapes the various non-living and living things (suns, stars, planets, air, water, plants, fish, birds, animals, and humans). What God shapes into “being” is identified by God as “good” since created “being(ness)” participates in His “being” and His goodness.[14] The summit of this visible creation is man and woman made in God’s image and likeness; possessing an intellect to know the truth, the power of the will to choose the good, and bodies to physically express love, to be fruitful, and experience happiness with all their perceptive and spiritual senses. 
God blesses man and woman with the command to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth. God rests from His works on the 7th day and identifies everything as “very good.” The expression “very good” identifies the philosophical principle that “the whole” is greater than “the parts.”[15]  God’s rest on the 7th day identifies a covenantal bond of love between God and His creation. Man and woman were created with the animals on the 6th day and created for eternal communion with God on the 7th day, provided the intellect and the will respond in love.
Man and woman called to live in truth, goodness, and love, put their hand to the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil.” Man and woman - who possessed the natural powers to love God freely - chose instead to love themselves more than their Creator. Man and woman judged they can “know good and evil” apart from God’s Word and Wisdom. 
The immediate fruit of their actions was a loss of integrity; the power of intellect and will began to serve their passions, a condition similarly described by Socrates and Plato identifying evil within the human condition as being the result of innate man forgetting the “forms of the good” and through this ignorance, man's intellect and spirit irrationally serves the appetite (body). 
Thus the rational order of things is lost leading to grave forms of injustice.[16]  As a result, man and woman observed they were naked and hid in fear and shame. This fallen condition was passed on to their descendants -- genetically, socially, and spiritually.  Evil in the form of sin (to miss the mark) entered into the world. “God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living…But by the envy of the adversary (devil), death entered the world, and they who are allied with him experience it.” [17] (Wisd. of Sol. 2:24)
This evil does not impact man and woman alone but material creation over which they were to have dominion. Jesus said, “The servant is not above the master.” (Matt. 1:24)  In essence, “the whole of creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now… even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” (Rom. 8:22) Sacred Scripture in this manner identifies sickness, corruption, and natural upheavals as creation’s  inability to perfectly participate in the goodness of God as a result of sin. “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom.7:24-25) Sacred Scripture states that God takes the initiative and deals with this problem of evil.
God’s Responsibility and Response to the Problem of Evil
God promises a remedy to this bleak condition; one which greatly exceeds sin and its temporal consequence. A redeemer is promised. God’s responsibility and response towards the problem of evil is humbly manifested with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. St. Paul writes: “Where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds even more.” (Rom. 5:20) God promises in and through the person of Jesus Christ a solution which greatly exceeds the original sin. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19) Jesus, before ascending into heaven, made this promised to his followers: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also, I will come back and take you where I am.” (John 14:3) 
God takes on the responsibility since He is the 1st cause of all things which exist. This Christian message of redemption, sanctification, and parousia (return) of Jesus Christ enabled St. Augustine to understand: “Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in his own works, unless His omnipotence and goodness where such as to bring good even out of evil.”[18] This reality is a demonstration of the infinite goodness of God, that he should allow evil to exist (which does not possess power in itself), and out of it produce good (which does possess power in itself). God does exist and in the pages of Sacred Scripture, and Human History evil is shown to be limited by the God’s Providence.
God’s Providence and 
Limits Placed on Evil

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."(John 16:3)
There is a limit imposed upon evil because all things fall within the providence of God. The term providence means the ordered intervention by God - who is omniscient and omnipotent - within the whole of human history. Omniscience means that all things are present within the mind of God.
 There is not a linear past, present, and future sequence of events in the mind of God; all things are present to the mind of God in a timeless manner.[19] Jesus identified this omniscience by stating the following: “Your heavenly Father knows what you need even before you ask him.” (Matt. 6:8) Omnipotence means the ability to perform all things possible.[20] With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness, God freely willed to a create world “in a state of journeying” towards ultimate perfection.[21] As such, nothing escapes the wisdom of God as He guides all things toward their final end, including the end of evil. 
Susie Waldstein captures this observation from within Sacred Scripture, writing, “God has created all things by his wisdom. ‘O Lord, how manifest are your works! In wisdom you have made them all.’ (Ps. 104: 24). God has ordered all things by his wisdom. ‘Against wisdom evil does not prevail. She reaches mightily from one end of the world to the other, and she orders all things well.’”[22]  (Wisd. of Sol. 7:30- 8:1)
In recent human history, the evil system of Nazism with all its progressive and materialist wisdom and military might came to an end in 12 years.[23] Socialist communism -- erected upon the similar foundations of power and cruelty --ended in 50 years. In both cases, in spite of all the horror, both divine and human goodness prevailed; instigating their demise.[24] 
Human virtues of courage, truth, goodness, mercy, and justice (forms of the good) persevered. Consider the absolute irony; both systems (Nazism and Communism) sought to end the existence of Judaism and Christianity within Europe, Russia and eventually the World. Both powers occupied the Catholic country of Poland. In spite of such intent and evil, the Jewish nation of Israel, after 2000 years, was established and a Polish pope was elected to the Chair of St. Peter in Rome. This Polish pope visited his native homeland Poland and publicly supported the Solidarity Movement which contributed to the end of Communist occupation and repression in Poland and Eastern Europe. Only the blind would miss the irony of these two events.
St. Paul, a disciple of Jesus Christ who was beaten, abused, shipwrecked, imprisoned and eventually decapitated for the Christian message knew objectively (not subjectively) through experience the providence of God in the midst of such evil. “We know God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.” (Rom. 8:28) 
The key was to embrace with humility the revelation of God, in Jesus Christ crucified. In Christ Jesus, the redeemed participate in God’s Divine Nature (2 Pet. 1:4) and become temples of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and become sons and daughter of God by adoption. (Rom.8:14)  Within God’s providence, evil comes to an end. “Now the dwelling of God will be with men, and his will live with them. They will be his people and God will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be not more death, or morning or crying or pain for the old order will pass away.” (Rev. 21: 3-5)  
Conclusion
My intent was  to respond to the atheistic argument against the existence of God as a result of observed effects of evil in the world, and demonstrate by way of faith and reason the following points: 1) the atheistic argument is notionally and subjectively shaped by an incomplete form of knowledge, 2) the Christian message provides an objective alternative to the atheistic argument, 3) God responds to and takes responsibility for the problem of evil, and 4) Evil is limited by God’s providence.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

Augustine. The Confessions, Translated by E.B. Pusey. New York: The Modern Library, 1998.

Bakewell, Charles, M. Source Book in Ancient Philosophy. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd Edition. Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1997.

Dubay, Fr. Thomas, S.M. Faith and Certitude. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985.

John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides Et Ratio of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul the II to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Relationship between Faith and Reason. Boston: Books & Media, 1998.

John Paul II, Memory and Identity.  New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc., 2005.

McDermott, Timothy. Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Proclus. Selection from Elements of Theology. Translation by E.R. Dodds. London: Clarendon Paperbacks, 1992.

Ratzinger, Joseph. Principle of Catholic Theology; Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology. Translated by Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, S.N.D. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987.

Schonborn, Christoph Cardinal. Chance of Purpose; Creation, Evolution and A Rational Faith. Translated by Hubert Philip Weber. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2007.

Spitzer, Robert, S.J. “Evidence of Creation and Supernatural Intelligence in Big-Bang Cosmology.” Gregorian Article Vol1/No.3 Benedictine College Publications. (August 2011): 5.

Walter M. Abbot, S. J. General Editor. The Documents of Vatican II. New York: Herder and Herder New York Association Press, 1966.

Waldstein, Susan. The Theological Significance of Natural Hierarchy, A Thesis Submitted to the International Theological Institute. Gaming Austria: Self Published, 2005.




[1] Timothy McDermott, Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 199.
[2]  Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2124.
[3] Abbot, M Walter S. J. General Editor The Documents of Vatican II. (New York: Herder and Herder New York Association Press, 1966), 207.
[4] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides Et Ratio of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul the II to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Relationship between Faith and Reason, (Boston: Books & Media 1998), 31.
[5]  Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M. Faith and Certitude. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985), 243. Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, Principle of Catholic Theology; Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology. Translated by Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, S.N.D. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), 153, 157.
[6]  Dubay, Faith and Certitude, 243.
[7] Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, Chance of Purpose; Creation, Evolution and A Rational Faith, Translated by Hubert Philip Weber. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2007), 92.
[8] Timothy McDermott, Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 286.
[9] Father Robert Spitzer, S.J. Evidence of Creation and Supernatural Intelligence in Big-Bang Cosmology; (Atchison Kansas: Benedictine College Publications Gregorian Article Vol1/No.3 August 2011), 5.
[10] McDermott, Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings. 305.
[11] Bakewell. Source Book in Ancient Philosophy. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907), 69.
[12] Bakewell, Source Book in Ancient Philosophy, 225-227.
[13] Bakewell, Source Book in Ancient Philosophy, 225-227.
[14] McDermott, Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings, 61.
[15] Augustine. The Confessions, Translated by E.B. Pusey (New York: The Modern Library, 1998), 134-135.
[16] Bakewell, Source Book in Ancient Philosophy,173.
[17] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, The Gospel of Life.  (Boston: Books & Media 1998), 19.
[18] McDermott, Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings, 202.
[19] McDermott, Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings, 249, 282.
[20] McDermott, Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings, 249, 281.
[21] Catholic Catechism of the Catholic Church, 310.
[22] Susan Waldstein, The Theological Significance of Natural Hierarchy, A Thesis Submitted to the International Theological Institute. (Gaming Austria: Self Published, 2005), 5.
[23] John Paul II, Memory and Identity.  (New York: Rizzoli International Publications Inc. 2005), 14-15
[24] John Paul II, Memory and Identity, 14-15.