All Saints’ Day 2019 – Beautiful & Terrible Things

It is perhaps fitting that first thing Friday morning, the First of November, All Saints’ Day, Editor Jessica sent me the final draft of Beautiful & Terrible Things. The book is written, edited, and now awaits copy editing, formatting, and marketing.

Coming in at 164 pages and 51,800 words, I hope it is not overly long or too anemic. Today I had the privilege to hear Dr. Peter Kreeft speak on the question of suffering and C. S. Lewis’ take on the question. In mentioning his own book the matter, Making Sense of Suffering (which I confessed to him that I had not known about), Dr. Kreeft said that he had tried to beg off writing it, asserting that Lewis had already done the best job that could be done in The Problem of Pain. I have been tempted to agree, not so much that Lewis said all that could be said, but that so many have already written on the subject. What more is there for me to say? All I can offer is my own voice and perspective.

I have tried to stay true to my initial proposal to the publisher, that I would offer a personal yet scholarly work that would consider what the Bible has to say about suffering and grace while reflecting upon my own loss and grief. “What is revealed is that rather than an image of God managing every event and action in our lives, the biblical account describes the very real world in which we all live, a world full of hardship and calamity that often comes unbidden and unmerited. Yet it is also a world into which God lovingly intrudes, to bring comfort, peace, and grace. As importantly, the Bible also provides license to lament, to grieve, and to protest the injustice we experience.”

As we remember those who have preceded us into eternal life, I pray that this work may provide comfort and encouragement to those who remain in this life.

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Collect for All Saints’ Day

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