St. John Paul II
Believers know that the presence of evil is always accompanied by the presence of good, by grace….
Redemption is ongoing. Where evil grows, there the hope for good also grows. In our times evil has grown disproportionately, operating through perverted systems that have practiced violence and elimination on a vast scale. I am not speaking here of evil committed by individuals for personal motives or through individual initiatives. The evil of the 20th century was not a small-scale evil; it was not simply “homemade.” It was an evil of gigantic proportions, an evil which availed itself of state structures in order to accomplish its wicked work, an evil build up into a system.
At the same time, however, divine grace has been superabundantly revealed. There is no evil from which God cannot draw forth a greater good. There is no suffering which he cannot transform into a path leading to him. Offering himself freely in his Passion and Death on the cross, the Son of God took upon himself all the evil of sin. The suffering of the crucified God is not just one form of suffering alongside others, not just another more or less painful ordeal; it is an unequaled suffering. In sacrificing himself for us all, Christ gave a new meaning to suffering, opening up a new dimension, a new order: the order of love. It is true that suffering entered human history with original sin. Sin is that “sting” which inflicts pain, wounding man mortally. Yet the Passion of Christ on the cross gave a radically new meaning to suffering, transforming it from within. It introduced into human history, which is the history of sin, a blameless suffering accepted purely for love. This suffering opens the door to the hope of liberation, hope for the definitive elimination of that “sting,” which is tearing humanity apart. It is this suffering which burns and consumes evil with the flame of love and draws forth even from sin a great flowering of good.