God… reveals His true face in the figure of the sufferer who shares man’s God-forsaken condition by taking it upon Himself.

This innocent sufferer has attained the certitude of Hope: there is a God, and God can create Justice in a way that we cannot conceive, yet we can begin to grasp it through Faith.

Yes, there is a resurrection of the flesh. There is justice. There is an ‘undoing’ of past suffering, a reparation that sets things aright. For this reason, Faith in the Last Judgement is first and foremost Hope — the need for which was made abundantly clear in the upheavals of recent centuries.

I am convinced that the question of Justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favour of Faith in eternal life. The purely individual need for a fulfilment that is denied to us in this life, for an everlasting love that we await, is certainly an important motive for believing that man was made for eternity; but only in connection with the impossibility that the injustice of History should be the final word does the necessity for Christ’s return and for new life become fully convincing.

To protest against God in the name of Justice is not helpful. A world without God is a world without Hope (cf. Eph 2:12).

Only God can create Justice. And Faith gives us the certainty that He does so.


Edited and Adapted from Spe Salvi No. 43-44.

This article can be found in Mirror 0318.