Remember this little guy:

Baby Joseph dies peacefully at home in Canada :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

I wrote a blog about him a while ago. I didn’t know what to think. I still don’t know what to think. But I’m glad that he died peacefully at home with his family.

Baby Joseph: I don’t know what to think.

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Throughout my reading of this best-selling spiritual memoirI could not decide whether I hated it or I liked it. The first 40 pages arequite difficult. Like a stereotypical teenage girl, she talks about her feelingsfor a cute Italian guy. Does she really want to break the promise she made toherself to remain celibate? She decides not to break her promise. She is happythe next morning that she didn’t give in.
After describing this horribly difficult decision to keep itin her pants, she complains about the last year or so of her marriage. Apparentlyshe had decided that at the age of 30, she would *gasp* decide to be a mother. As30 loomed near, she changed her mind and came to the conclusion she couldn’tgive up her traveling and career for a child. She further more decided shecould no longer be married. To her credit, she does not disclose any of thespecific problems she and her spouse had, but she does seem to dwell on howmuch it hurt her.
Maybe I’m being too self-righteous, maybe I should go toconfession after writing this blog, but I:
1)      Don’t approve of having sex with a cute Italian guy to whom you are notmarried.
2)      I don’t appreciate the dichotomy she sets up between being a mother andhaving a career. It’s not an either/or situation. Nor is giving up a career forchildren an ignoble thing to do.
3)      Her lack of details about the reasoning behind the divorce makes itsound as if it’s another one of those cases where they “fell out of love.” Thatis a poor reason for a divorce and I hope my impression is inaccurate.
Now to the confessional:
All of that said, after her divorce and a whirlwind affairthat ends terribly, she decides she needs to travel to Italy (to experience pleasure and learn thelanguage), India (to findspirituality with her guru) and Indonesia(to fulfill the prophecy of a medicine man).
Over all, the rest of the book is much better than thosefirst 40 pages. She does from time to time dwell on those shallow, stereotypicalfemale problems, namely her weight and men. At those times a reader such asmyself will get the urge to throw the book across the room. There is more tolife, and there is definitely more to the female psyche, than worrying aboutour looks or men.
The non-shallow part of the book that interested me most washer time in the ashram in India.
Now for a bit of personal interjection: I practiced Buddhismfor about 3 years before converting to Neo-paganism before converting toCatholicism. In my undergraduate studies, I more or less specialized in bothChristian studies and Eastern Religions. Now, back to your regular reading.
There are many people at the ashram from many differentnationalities and walks of life. Their typical day includes getting up at 3:30AM to chant, hours of independent and group meditation, and a few hours oflabor for discipline and to keep the place going. The ashram is a hub in thetown where it is located, it provides much of the town’s jobs and income. Peoplefrom the town go there to meditate and show respect.
This section about her life in the ashram includes a verygood exploration of distraction and forcing in meditation. She feels like afailure because she can’t come to some kind of enlightenment even though shehad been meditating and practicing yoga for years. A straight talking Texangives her some good advice: quit fighting the mind, distract it. Also,a monk tells her that the mind just needs some rest. She comes close to hergoal when she decides to no longer fight the mind, but to ignore it.
This is also good advice for anyone of any religiouspersuasion engaging in prayer or meditation. Do not fight distraction becausethat will only breed more distraction and stress. For example, when somethingpops into your mind when praying the rosary: Don’t fight against it or beatyourself up for being a bad Catholic. I believe that when something pops intomy mind, it’s God’s way of telling me I need to pray about it. So I pray aboutit and let it go. The rosary is the perfect prayer for the Texan’s advicebecause you have many aspects of it to distract your “monkey mind” with (thebeads, the prayers, the meditations…).
By the way, she does give an accurate, and interestingexplination for “kundalini shakti” in chapter 46.
She continues to battle with distractions and boy troubles,with increasing maturity and wisdom. The gems of good advice continue: theTexan teaches her to be patient with herself, a monk challenges her toparticipate in a chant that she does not like, she fights and wins against hernegative self-talk through positive thinking and prayer, she learns to seethings through the lenses of eternity, and she tries and fails to fight against heroutgoing nature. It is when she embraces her unique personality is when shefinally has the elusive experience of bliss, “turiya.”
The entire section about her time in India is makesreading the whole book worth the effort. It is the deepest part of the book.There is something worthwhile for everyone, regardless of where you are in yourspiritual journey.
At the end of her story, it’s a man (who worships the groundshe walks on) who carries her off into the sunset. This is a very disappointingending to the book. She becomes mature and wise through her journey in India. Insteadof finding her ultimate fulfillment in God, however, she finds it in a man whoidolizes her. A man with whom she can talk to and have sex with for days onend. A relationship that tramples all of her other responsibilities in Bali.Sounds like the perfect romance in our culture which values physical pleasureand “all about me.” And so this book starts with every bad stereotype involvingwomen, gets better toward the middle, and then ends with “every woman’s dream.”
What do you think? Am I being self-righteous? Am I being toopicky? What are your experiences with meditation and prayer?

In a video, Catholic philosopher and author Peter Kreeft isquoted saying that it would be “wonderful” if 100 bishops were arrested forcarrying graphic pictures of aborted babies. The context for this quote is arecent decision by some Canadian bishops to withdraw from pro-life activitieswhere the organizers could not guarantee that such images will not be used.
His argument seems good. He argues that Hitler would havebeen toppled earlier if the average German saw pictures of what was reallyhappening in the death camps. He argues that the media would have to payattention to 100 bishops being arrested for the pictures, since they ignoredthe arrest of one activist.
However, he neglects a few things:
1)      We’re pretty desensitized to pictures of violence. By the age of 18,many of us have been exposed to 200,000 acts of violence on television alone. Wewould hope that pictures of dead, mutilated babies would still have a shockvalue. We hope that we’re not that desensitized. But I don’t think we aresensitive to those images anymore. I don’t think that pictures of dead babieshave the shock value protesters want them to have.
2)      Offending someone is not a good way to win them over to your side. Thinkof it from the perspective of a pro-choice person. What would you listen to?Someone yelling at you with a horrifying picture or someone giving you logicalarguments and engaging you in dialogue?
3)      Arresting 100 bishops? And it’s not related to the sex scandal? Themedia as of late only reports things that make the Church look bad. Look atsome of the articles at Get Religion. Many well-meaning and not-so-well-meaningjournalists depict deeply religious people as ignorant and close-minded. I can onlysee how the story would be covered: “Those poor, stupid bishops in theirreligious zeal march around with disgusting pictures and get arrested. And, believeit or not, the disgusting pictures aren’t child porn.”
Don’t get me wrong, Peter Kreeft’s heart is in the rightplace. We need to make a statement. We need to save the unborn. We need to be bold. There are,however, many other ways in which this can be accomplished. Many other ways thatdoesn’t include incarceration or needlessly graphic pictures.
What do you think? Am I too cynical?

PS: I don’t agree with the Canadian bishops’ decision, however. As someone who has organized protests before, you can’t control what the protesters will do. Nor do you really want to control them. Of course, you don’t want a riot or any violence. However, if you invite people to your protest with a list of things they are not allowed to do, you won’t get the turn out you want. Numbers speak volumes.

I do not want to write another post like “The State of Catholic Marriage” where I complain but don’t offer any solutions. Let me give you some websites of some great pro-life organizations that my husband or I have been involved with in the past that need your help:

The Pregnancy Resource Center in Rolla MO

Lifeline Pregnancy Center in Kirksville MO

We have not contacted any centers in Syracuse yet.

But nearly all (if not all) dioceses have a Respect Life office (For example, the two dioceses we have lived in):

The Diocese of Syracuse NY

The Archdiocese of St. Louis

“I disapprove of what you say but I’ll defend to the death yourright to say it” – falsely attributed to Voltaire

Well, the internets have been alive as of late over a 839-word post by Stacy Trasancos over at Accepting Abundance. She expresses herdespair of her children being exposed to PDAs by homosexuals at the park. Shedoesn’t look forward to her children’s questions, luckily it sounds like theyare too young to understand anything now. She doesn’t feel comfortable takingthem to the park because of this. The post ends with her, as a mother,expressing her concerns with how the world is going. She feels like she shouldn’tleave the house with so much evil in the world. As homosexuals fight for thefreedom to live out their sexuality, she bemoans the loss of her freedom toraise her children in the kind of society she would like to see.
And the response she has received from various pro-gay, politicallyliberal people on the internet only proves her point. She *feels as if* herfamily is being attacked by a society that permits such evils as abortion andIVF. Now she *is* being attacked by people who wish her evil and call herunspeakable names. Homosexuals are fighting for the freedom to live as theywish. They want their freedom of speech. What about Stacy Trasancos’ freedom ofspeech? People have the right to speak out for gay rights, why can’t she havethe right to speak out for her beliefs? And they are not just her beliefs, they are the beliefs of the entire Church. The attackers should all be ashamed ofthemselves. They want tolerance, but only for people who agree with them.
I want all of those who are bashing her to know I’m prayingfor them.
“Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle; the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfill the destiny for which we and all men were created.” -Prayer for world peace, 1978
 St. Monica, patron of mothers, pray for us!

On October 2, 2006, a truck backed into the front door of anAmish schoolhouse in Lancaster County. The man who cameout of the truck was someone that all of the students knew. He was the man whopicked up the unpasteurized milk from their parents’ farms.
Charles Carl Roberts IV had been a tormented soul and he hadplanned to take out his torment on the female students of the school. He hadbought all the supplies he needed. He had written suicide notes to everyone inhis family. He went into the classroom initially with a rusty metal object inhis hand. He asked the children if they had seen an object like it in the road.The children, respectful and trusting of adults, said they’d help him look.
He went back to his truck and came back with asemi-automatic pistol. He ordered everyone to lie down facedown in the front ofthe room. Seeing the gun, one of the adults ran out to get help at a nearbyfarmhouse. From there, she called the police.
Back in the schoolhouse, Roberts sent one of the boys to goget the adult that fled and he tied up all of the girls. One of the girls hearda voice she later attributed to an angel who told her to run. She escapedbefore Roberts had the chance to tie up her legs. Roberts ordered the rest ofthe adults to leave and then he ordered all of the boys to leave. His intentionwas to molest the girls, but state troopers had soon surrounded the school. Hetried to order all of the troopers off of the property but the troopers wouldnot comply. So he skipped that part of his plan and shot at all of the girls,killing five, putting one in a coma, and injuring the other four. He thenkilled himself.
Later that same evening, people from the Amish communitywent to see Roberts’ widow, children and parents to let them know that theywere not to blame and to share their sorrow. The parents of several of thevictims invited Roberts’ family to the funerals. Many family members of thevictims went to Roberts’ burial to show their support and love to the family.As donations came in to support the victims of the shooting, the Amishcommunity shared the money with the Roberts’ family. When people in the mediaasked the Amish if they had any anger toward Roberts or his family, repeatedly theAmish people said they had forgiven them.
As the book “Amish Grace” explains, the reasoning behind theAmish willingness to forgive is long and complicated. For one, the Amish takeliterally the Bible’s command: that if you do not forgive, God will not forgiveyou. The 18th chapter of Matthew is frequently used in Amishservices especially twice a year when they have a time of penance andreconciliation before their big communion service. In that chapter, Peter asksJesus how often he should forgive, and Jesus says seventy-seven times. Also,this is the chapter of Jesus’ parable where a king forgives a debtor his debts.This debtor goes on to refused to forgive the debts of another person and sothe king punishes him. Jesus says that this is how God works also. That if werefuse to forgive, God will not forgive us.
They also have a sense of the absolute power of God. Godwill deal with the perpetrator as He wishes; there is no reason for the victimto curse them. Not that they don’t agree with law enforcement. They will pleadfor mercy for those who have been arrested for crimes against them, but they donot argue that law enforcement doesn’t have the right to punish them. They willnot seek revenge on their own, however. God will do with the evil-doer as Hewishes. 
As Jesus prayed for his executioners, the Amish believe weare to pray for our persecutors as well. While they leave the criminals to themercy of God, they do pray for God to be merciful toward the criminals. Theymake it a point to see the criminal as another human being. Just as the Amishhave faults, so do everyone else. They do not feel as if it is their place tojudge.
The Amish faith has a long history of persecution andmartyrdom. These stories of martyrdom have an overarching theme of forgivenessand acting gracefully. One in particular that is shared in the book is thestory of Dirk Willems. He was arrested and he escaped. As he ran, the guardwent after him. He and the guard ran across a frozen pond. Willems got safelyto the other side, but the guard fell through the ice. Willems actually goesback and rescues his captor. He ultimately gets executed for his trouble. As heis burned at the stake, he cries out loud repeatedly for God to forgive hisexecutioners.
Another major idea discussed in the book is that the Amishdo not have the secular American idea of the individual; they stress thecommunity over the individual. They don’t encourage independence in the waythat we typically do. They don’t encourage the questioning of authority orindividuality. Instead, they have a strong sense of community where theysupport each other through thick and thin. They depend on one another foreverything and they are very closely knit.  In a society where community is of the utmostimportance, forgiveness becomes an important virtue for living togethercooperatively. If being a part of the group is the most important thing, youcannot have grudges or hatred breaking the community apart.
This book was outstanding. I highly recommend it foreveryone and anyone. We all have people in our lives we have not forgiven. Thisbook gave me the encouragement I needed to list those people and start to worktowards forgiving them. The story of this community in Lancaster Countycannot be told often enough.
I know I’m supposed to be a forgiving person, but it ishard. I can only imagine how hard it was for these people to be so kind to thefamily of the gunman. This idea of forgiveness is not only an Amish idea, it’sa Christian idea. “They will know we are Christian by our love.”   
What do you think about this story? What do you think about forgiveness?

“If your brother sins (against you), go and tellhim his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have wonover your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along withyou, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or threewitnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses tolisten even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a taxcollector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound inheaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again,(amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for whichthey are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For wheretwo or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”–Matthew 18:15-20, This Sunday’s Gospel Reading
Ihad a friend in college who confided in me that he had a problem with the ideaof “excommunication.” In high school, when many people are questioning thefaith of their birth, he came across some literature about excommunication. He hada hard time reconciling that concept with a loving God. He also couldn’tunderstand how a group of people could banish someone and essentially send themto Hell. Over time, he came to an understanding that excommunication is not anact of the Church, but an act of the individual being excommunicated. Herealized that excommunication isn’t really in conflict with a loving God, afterall.
Whatis excommunication?
TheAmerican Heritage Dictionary defines “excommunication” as: “A formalecclesiastical censure that deprives a person of the right to belong to achurch.” This definition, like any definition, is quite simplistic. It kind ofmakes it sound as if the big, bad ecclesiastical body is callously picking onthe poor, innocent ex-church member. This is far from the truth.
TheCatechism of the Catholic Church defines “excommunication” as: 
A severe ecclesiastical penalty, resulting from gravecrimes against the Catholic religion, imposed by ecclesiastical authority orincurred as a direct result of the commission of an offense. Excommunicationexcludes the offender from taking part in the Eucharist or other sacraments andfrom the exercise of any ecclesiastical office, ministry, or function.
Asindicated in the CCC definition, there are two types of excommunication. One, ferendaesententiae, occurs after a trial. It is a matter of public record. Theother, latae sententiae, does not require a trial. It occursautomatically when a person commits a particular offense. In a sense, peoplewho are excommunicated latae sententiae excommunicate themselves. 
Insome cases, excommunicatable offenses can sometimes be excused:
1)     Lack of full use of reason. Children andpeople who are mentally handicapped cannot excommunicate themselves.
2)     Lack of liberty resulting from gravefear. You cannot be held accountable for something you were forced to do.
3)     Ignorance. You cannot be held accountableif you could not have known that what you were doing was wrong.  
  
Whatis an excommunicatable offense?
         heresy
         apostasy (total rejection ofChristianity)
         schism (rejection of the Pope)
         desecration of the Blessed Sacrament
         physical attack on the Pope
         procuring an abortion
         fake celebration of the Mass or othersacrament by someone other than a priest.
         Unauthorized episcopal consecration(making someone a bishop without authorization from Rome)
Priestsare also not immune to excommunication. Some specifically priestly offenses include:
         Breaking the seal of confession
         Giving someone absolution for murder,lying, or sexual immorality when the priest themselves were involved in the murder, lie or sexual immorality. 

Whocan excommunicate?
Inmost cases, the excommunicated person essentially excommunicates themselves. Bycommitting an offense like those listed above, they are automaticallyexcommunicated. If a trial is involved, it is the Pope that excommunicates.
Whocan lift an excommunication?
Generallyspeaking, a priest in the Sacrament of Confession can lift excommunications. Sometimes,some further action must take place for it to be completely lifted. In rarecases (particularly ferendae sententiae excommunication), only a bishopor a priest who is specifically assigned by the bishop can lift the excommunication.In all cases, a priest can lift an excommunication when the person seekingreconciliation is in grave danger of death.  
  
Okay, why is excommunication not so bad?

First of all, excommunication is not usually a punishment forced upon someone. The person usually brings it upon themselves. Excommunication works kind of like hell. No one is forced to be excommunicated or to go to hell, people choose to do so. God gave us free will and he respects that free will so much that he allows people to choose to disobey and reject Him.

Second, excommunication is never irreversible. An excommunicated person can always come back and we will welcome them with open arms. Most of the time, all it takes is a simple, sincere confession. Excommunication is not an act of rejection or punishment, it is an act of love. There is hope that the person will see the error in their ways and come back. It’s tough love, the harshest penalty that the Mother Church can use on her children in hope that they will change their ways. 
Tolearn more:

The hard facts from Catholic Answers


Yesterday I read William Paul Young’s TheShack almost entirely in one sitting. The writing is fantastic. He reallyknows how to pull a reader in and not let them go. He knows how to tug on theemotions, making the reader laugh and cry.

Reading this from a theological perspective though, my review of this bookis mixed. There are aspects of this book that are very good. There are partswhere we border on heresy. And there are parts where we go over the deep endinto the abyss of not even being Christian anymore.

First, the good…

I love this book’s depiction of the Trinity. I’ve read reviews where peoplehave gotten angry that God the Father is depicted as a woman, stating that thisview is not biblical. Apparently, they’ve been reading a different Bible thanthe one I have:

“I have looked away, and kept silence, I havesaid nothing, holding myself in; But now, I cry out as a woman in labor, gaspingand panting.” -Isaiah 42:14 
“For thus says the LORD: Lo, I will spread prosperityover her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowingtorrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in herlap; As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find yourcomfort.”-Isaiah 66:12-13
“You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, Youforgot the God who gave you birth.”-Deuteronomy 32:18
Mysticsthroughout time have used feminine imagery for God. Theologians over thecenturies have used “motherhood” as a metaphor for God.
TheCatechism itself has something to say about this:
“By calling God “Father”,the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first originof everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same timegoodness and loving care for all his children. God’s parental tenderness canalso be expressed by the image of motherhood, which emphasizes God’s immanence,the intimacy between Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws onthe human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives ofGod for man. But this experience also tells us that human parents are fallibleand can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood. We ought therefore torecall that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He isneither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends human fatherhood andmotherhood, although he is their origin and standard: no one is father as Godis Father.” -CCC 239
I have no problem, therefore with God the father being personifiedas a woman.

And the Trinity, itself, is depicted beautifully:
“As he leaned against the doorway watching,Mack was full of thoughts. So this was God in relationship? It was beautifuland so appealing. He knew that it didn’t matter whose fault it was—the messfrom some bowl that had been broken, that a planned dish would not be shared.Obviously, what was truly important here was the love they had for one anotherand the fullness it brought them. He shook his head. How different this wasfrom the way he sometimes treated the ones he loved!” –pg. 107
“He had never seen three people share withsuch simplicity and beauty. Each seemed totally aware of the others rather thanof himself.”- pg. 123
“They all laughed and then busily resumedpassing platters and helping themselves. As Mack ate, he listened to the banterbetween the three. They talked and laughed like old friends who knew oneanother intimately. As he thought about it, that was assuredly more true forhis hosts than anyone inside or outside creation. He was envious of thecarefree but respectful conversation and wondered what it would take to sharethat with Nan and maybe even with somefriends.”-pg. 202
An even more beautiful and accurate depiction is touched on:
“Man – whether man or woman – is the only being amongthe creatures of the visible world that God the Creator has willed for its ownsake; that creature is thus a person. Being a person means striving towardsself-realization, which can only be achieved through a sincere gift of self.The model for this interpretation of the person is God himself as Trinity, as acommunion of Persons.” JPII, MULIERIS DIGNITATEM, part 7
To Young’s credit, he makes it clear as frequently as he can thatwhile the three Persons are personified in three different people, they are, infact, One.
Now, the bad….
First, mixed in with some decent theology is a lot of poppsychology, self-help, feel-good crap. For example:
“Not much to understand, actually. Theyjust are. They are neither bad nor good; they just exist. Here is somethingthat will help you sort this out in your mind, Mackenzie. Paradigms powerperception and perceptions power emotions.” – pg. 199, the Holy Spiritexplaining emotions to Mack
It has been explained to be before by different priests thatemotions in and of themselves are not bad. You can’t control a fleetingemotion. However, it can become sinful if you entertain that anger byprolonging it or act out of that anger (or lust or any other negative emotion).I looked up this exact quote to see if Young had borrowed it from anyparticular psychologist, but I couldn’t find one. Readers: let me know if youknow of one.

The entirety of Chapter 15 is an acid trip around a very touchingscene of reunion between Mack and his abusive alcoholic father. In thischapter, the Holy Spirit gives Mack healed vision to let him see as God sees.With this gift he can see all creation and all time. That I understand, becauseGod can see those things. However, he can also see himself and others robed incolor and light. This color and light can change in accordance to what a personis feeling or doing at any given time. It can also reach outside of the personto touch those they care about. As someone who has previously practicedWicca/Neo-paganism, this color and light sounds suspiciously like auras.The belief in and vision of auras are generally banned in Christian circlesunder the heading “No sorcery, witchcraft, or occult.” As the Bible states:
“When you come into the land which the LORD, your God, isgiving you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of the peoplesthere. Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son ordaughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, orcaster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles fromthe dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the LORD…” – Deuteronomy18:9-12a
If you thought that was bad, now we have the ugly…
The two biggest areas where Young misses the mark are Authorityand Evil.
First, authority:
“I have no desire to make them Christian,but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters ofmy Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved.” – pg. 184, Jesus talkingabout his relationship to humanity
This completely goes against all mainstream Christianity. Some Christiansdo not believe there is any salvation outside their church. As far as theCatholic Church, this is discussed in CCC 846-848. 
“They are the man-created trinity ofterrors that ravages the earth and deceives those I care about.” –pg. 181,Jesus talking about politics, economics, and religion
The Shack is thoroughly anti-organized religion. Some church-goersare depicted as sincere but naïve. They are good people doing good things,mislead by church authorities. Other church-goers and church authorities,however, are depicted as hypocritical, lying, and the cause of much evil andsuffering in the world.

”Both evil and darkness can be understoodonly in relation to light and good; they do not have any actual existence.”-pg.138, Holy Spirit discussing good and evil.
This is an Eastern and philosophical concept, not a Christian one. Evilis certainly a lack of Good, but it also has an existence of its own. It is “theopposite or absence of good.” If evil did not exist, why did Jesus have to diefor us? If evil does not exist, how does one explain suffering? Why are we, asChristians, engaged in a cosmic battle with something that does not exist? SeeCCC 309-314
In conclusion:
The Shack is very well written. However if you are a Christian (especially a Roman Catholic) who is looking to this book for any religious teaching, you are looking at the wrong place. This book, arguably, should not call itself Christian at all. It is very entertaining. For all it’s faults, I can see how this book could be enormous help some people in the grieving process. But do take it’s theology with a grain of salt. It is frequently inaccurate when it comes to Christian doctrine.