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When Bad Things Befall Good People

By: Kate O'Hare on March 26th, 2020

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When Bad Things Befall Good People

Each weekday, we’re highlighting another fast-paced, entertaining and informative (or, as we like to say ‘enterforming’) episode of Catholic Central and spotlighting some of the resources available. Today, hosts Kai and Libby tackle the tough question of bad things befalling good people.

Especially at this time, we’re all wondering why bad things happen to good people – and there’s no easy answer.

Catholic Central takes on this issue, which is challenging not only to Christians, but to everyone.

The Problem of Evil asks the big question: Why do bad things happen to good people, like floods, fires, illness and falling anvils? We tackle the role of free will in in the things that go wrong for us, along with the larger meaning of suffering, and how suffering affects, and can strengthen, our bonds with each other and God.

You can watch the video below, but if you want all the great online resources that go with it, go to CatholicCentral.com.

Diving Deeper

  1. The Problem of Evil is not just a challenge for Christians – it is hard for all of humanity. How do people answer the question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Where do you look for answers for this difficult question?
  2. When is a time that you have experienced new life as the result of suffering? A core belief of Catholicism is that through the crosses in our lives, we experience the joys of the Resurrection. Where have you seen this?
  3. Kai and Libby said that, “Our Catholic worldview puts life on earth in a larger context.” What does this mean to you? How would you define your “worldview”? Catholics would say that placing hope in Christ and what He reveals about humanity changes how suffering is viewed. How would this affect someone’s worldview?


The news is full of stories of misfortune, suffering and tragedy. Find a news story about a community undergoing struggle. How is the community responding? How do individuals and groups respond to the event? Are there signs of people growing closer?

Reflection by Father Vince Kuna

For perhaps the first time in many of our lives, the entire planet is managing the same predicament together: the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus causes anxiety and feelings of unknown for many of us, for sure. It also provides the best example of Matthew 5:45, of the sun rising on both the good and the bad, and that rain falls on the just and the unjust.

So, while the virus does not come from God, it has nonetheless been permitted within His Providence. As we face this unprecedented virus together, how might our response as Christians be good and just? That we fast, instead of hoard. Pray, instead of worry. Perform an act of charity for a neighbor or stranger, instead of seeing that person as a competitor for material goods.

About Kate O'Hare

Based in Los Angeles, Kate O'Hare is a veteran entertainment journalist, social-media manager for Catholic production company Family Theater Productions, and a screenwriter.