The purpose of our lives in this world is not comfort and security but training; not fulfillment but preparation. The world is a lousy home, but a good gymnasium. It's like an uphill bowling alley. The point is not to succeed in knocking down all the pins but to train our muscles. We misunderstand the point of this world if we expect it to be happy...Between Hurricane Katrina and the death of baby Susan Torres I've had various questions put to me about good and evil, suffering and joy, basically about the human condition. Go read the entire article. Kreeft says it so much better than I can. After all, a lot of what I know I learned from reading his work. Via LAMland.
We cannot know what God's purpose is in each event, each detail. But we can know that every event, each detail, is part of God's purpose. Everything is grace. Job's sores were grace. Job's abandonment was grace. Jesus' abandonment ("My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?") was grace. Our abandonment is also grace.
Our attitude toward that fact should not be a passive resignation, because our activity too is part of that grace and divine plan and purpose. Our active struggle against suffering and every form of evil -- physical, psychological, and spiritual -- is part of God's will for us and part of our growth and learning. But at the same time as we say no to suffering, death, disease, and diminishment, we also say yes to God's hand behind it, and to God's wise and loving plan that includes in its plot both our sufferings and our efforts to conquer them...Lessons from the saints about suffering
by Peter Kreeft (found at Thunderstruck)