I have a “God Why” question:
God, why didn’t You have me, too, immaculately conceived, ?
I think I would have done really well without Original Sin.
Mary, So Why Not Me ?
I am not saying I know better than God. But I do dream that my life would have been so easy, such a cakewalk to heaven, if only I had been conceived without that stain from Adam. Totally pure DNA and a soul with no spiritual defect – God had the power to do this back in 1946. We know this because He did it once before, back in Zero A.D., or thereabouts, for the Virgin Mary, the young girl He asked to be the mother of His Son.
Made in the image and likeness of God, Mary was free to accept or reject what the Angel Gabriel told her were God’s wishes. Thanks be to God, for all of us, she said, “Yes, let it be.”
So I have my own personal “God Why” question. I don’t mean to question God’s omniscience, His infinite love, or His omnipotence or any other divine-omniness I would just like to know why didn’t He also let me be immaculately conceived?
God Knew He Could Make Me Better
This is an especially incisive question since He knew, long before that day in 1946, that without a pure, immaculate conception, I would sin and sin again. He knew He could see to it that none of this would happen if He would do for me what He did for Mary. Yes, I know, she was His Mom, but I’m a son, an heir, even royal, not exactly a mere chopped-liver no-free-will animal creature, acting out of pure instinct because “I was made this way.”
My question isn’t the first. There have been “God Why” questions for millennia; questions about deep theological issues that have been studied for centuries, like the problem of evil, God’s unknowable essence, predestination or not, and how can one even put a mystery into words. For now, I just want to know why God didn’t make me, just me, better.
My life could have been so much easier, and I would never have had to say, “Bless me, father, for I have sinned.” Somehow I doubt, however, that Sister Mary Margaret , my fifth grade teacher, (truly, may she rest in well-earned peace) would have believed my explanation for skipping weekly confession. I know what would have been the look on her face had I said, “Nope, Sister, I am sinless.” As it turned out, she knew only too well that I needed that sacrament on a regular basis.
Theobony – No Problem With Good?
Some professional scholars, theologians, philosophers, and commentators make a living discussing “God-Why” questions. There is a whole sub-category of discussion called “Theodicy” – and it deals with the so-called “Problem of Evil.” Phrased in “God-Why” language, it is this:
God, why, if You are all-good, all-knowing, all-generous, all-loving, etc., then why is there evil (including pain, suffering, crimes, sin, wickedness) in the world that You made and why do your human creatures do evil?
I have noticed that my “God-Why” questions are similar – usually dealing with pain, suffering, evil and death, or with something I think I need. I rarely ask, “God, why have you given me so much?” I don’t have a theobony problem. No problem with all the good in my life. I rarely ask God-Why questions like the following:
God, why did You give me this fullofwonder wife and the children we made together with You ?
God, why did You bless me with all the wunnerfull folks You let me live with every day?
God, why do I usually have three good meals a day?
Job Did Not Get Answers From God
God has not replied to my “God Why” question, yet. No lightning-bolt revelation or divine voice speaking from a whirlwind . So I have done what I often do when I am in my confused, mystery-befuddled needing-some-theological-assistance mode – I rejoice, and then reread the Book Of Job. This can be very helpful when one has a “God Why” question and learns, (or in my case relearns), that God is God, and you’re not:
Who is that who tries to darken divine plans with words of ignorance? Gird up you loins now, like a man. [Job 38:1,2].
Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning? [Id. 12].
Will we have arguing with the Almighty by the critic? Let him who would correct God give answer [Job 40:1,2].
Although God does not answer Job’s questions, or any of the questions of Job’s so-called friends, God makes quite an impression on Job telling him about all His creation and how He cares for it. Even without explicit, divine answers, Job realizes “I have dealt with great things that I do not understand, things too wonderful for me that I cannot know.” [Job 42:3].
Job speaks to me and gives me hope when I ask my God-Why questions. I don’t get answers, or a personal divine seminar in the reasons for creation and the meaning of everything taught by the Almighty, but I do learn again):
The Lord restored the prosperity of Job . . . .Thus the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his earlier ones. [Job 42:10,12].
So, What Are The Answers ?
Although there is no explicit, direct answer to most “God-Why” questions, there is a response that believers in God may find satisfying. And that will be discussed in Part II, to come.