Sunday, 9 February 2014

Syria and Father Tigar

Our Lady of Damascus
"Blessed are you to have accepted for the first time in the history
 of salvation to have undertaken a mission in the heart of the
Arab world"

I just can't leave Fr Tigar's book 'Papist Pie' alone.

It was written during the Second World War and intended to inform young service men and women, many of them not Catholics but who might have had questions regarding matters of faith and morals.
They had been uprooted from their home lives and thrust into an alien arena, mixing with people that, perhaps, in a more normal life, they would not consider spending time with.

Those uncertain times created many questions regarding religion in the minds of soldiers, sailors and airmen and women and Father T's book was written specifically for that audience.

It is not a work of deep theology (perhaps why I like it so much), it is a concise series of questions and answers regarding the Catholic Faith.

Black and white. Unequivocal. As Our Lord intended His teachings to be transmitted.

Fr Tigar has one chapter with the title: "God's Foreknowledge" and several questions therein could have been written with Syria (or any war zone for that matter) in mind.

If I am honest, I also like the dialogue that this priest, long laid to rest, generates in the comment box.

I plan to pray to Fr Tigar as, I am sure that this great man must surely be enjoying God's reward for his labours.
I have a friend in Hampshire and I shall also pray to him for aid in her time of need.

Q. "Why does God allow people who have done no harm to anybody to be bombed 
      out of their homes?"

A. It is certain that God would not allow evil in any of His works unless He were so Wise and so Good that out of evil He can draw good. (an interesting explanation).
In some cases God allows people to be bombed because they were too absorbed in the material things of this short life, forgetful of the purpose why they are here, neglectful of their duty to God.(Ouch, that hurts, but he is right, of course).

In some cases God allows people to share in the redemptive work of Christ; they and Christ, their elder brother, offer up to God the Father their suffering in reparation for the sins of mankind, in the spirit of St Paul who said: "I fill up in myself those things that are wanting to the sufferings of Christ."

In some cases God is letting His children learn the danger of pride and self-sufficiency, just as a father lets his child learn the danger of fire by burning his fingers.

In other cases God allows people to be bombed for some mysterious reason which we cannot understand now, but shall understand one day when we are face to face with our Heavenly Father.

A. "If God is all just, why does He allow bombs to be dropped on innocent babies?"

What would you expect God to do? Arrange for bombs to fall only on those over seven years old? (They didn't mince words in those days)
If He has to keep bombs off babies, then oughtn't He to keep them from whooping cough, meningitis, teething pains and all other ills? Shouldn't God likewise put the fire out before babies fall into it?

The fact that babies are innocent does not affect the problem, which is, "Why does God allow evil into the world at all?"
To that question there is no neat, comprehensive answer, that at once clears away all difficulties.
It is a mystery. But bombs falling on babies do not show that God is unjust. Those babies are enjoying an eternity of perfect happiness, which no cruelty of man can take away from them.

If they were asked now whether they feel they have been treated unjustly, and whether they would like to come back to this life again, they would answer a thousand times "No"

They are the best judges; and so shall we be, one day, when we see the whole of God's plan for us.


  1. Thank you, Richard. I must get myself a copy.

  2. Chris, I have a spare copy, please email me your address. God bless.