This article is a continuation of “Is God Punishing Us with Hurricanes and Earthquakes?” More specifically exploring the fourth possible option mentioned in the first article if God is indeed punishing us with evil? The answer is yes and no. YES, when we die, and NO, while we are living here on earth.
NO PHYSICAL EVIL FROM GOD IN THIS LIFE
We know from the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church that “God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil,” (CCC 311) but how about “physical evil” (CCC 311) since it is not as clear. In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI issued a Motu Propio approving the Compendium of the Catechism the Catholic Church as a magisterial teaching document. In the answer to question number 57 this issue is laid to rest.
“To this question, as painful and mysterious as it is, only the whole of Christian faith can constitute a response. God is not in any way – directly or indirectly – the cause of evil.”
It is the devil who tempts us and punishes with evil while living here on earth. “God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10) God doesn’t even tempt us as the Catechism explains,
“God cannot be tempted by evil and HE HIMSELF TEMPTS NO ONE; on the contrary, He wants to set us free from evil.” (2846)
TRIALS & TESTS
God does, however, give us trials, tribulations, and tests to make us better Christians as a good coach exhorts, chastises, and tries his athletes with hard adversities and challenges to make them winners and champions, or as the catechism explains,
“The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man, and temptation, which leads to sin and death.” (CCC 2847)
Contrarily, the devil “is the author or instigator of evil,” (CCC 2854) plus he keeps track of our sins since he is “the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night.” (Rev. 12:10) In other words, the devil is a legalist like the witch of Narnia who demands of Aslan (lion) that she be able to punish and kill Edmond for breaking the law. See YouTube video below. The devil is always demanding of God that he (devil) “legally” be allowed to punish us with evils because we broke one of the Ten Commandments (law), and since, “he is a murderer from the beginning.” (Jn.8:44)
PERMISSION & ALLOWING
God allows and gives permission for “physical evil” (California fires, Hurricane Maria, the earthquake in Mexico) or “moral evil” (Las Vegas shooting) “because He respects the freedom of His creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it,” (CCC 311) but “permission” needs further clarification.
God gives permission for the devil to punish us with evil because we freely choose to hold hands with the devil in our sin. However, the devil is not God’s rottweiler that He sends after us vindictively to punish us and keep us in line. On the contrary, God is always sending us graces to prevent us from committing sin and entering hell, and God laments as He tells St. Faustina in her diary, “The loss of EACH soul plunges Me into mortal sadness.” 
Permission first unfolds when we commit a venial sin, and it is as if the sharks (evil spirits) begin to make their way to us without attacking. When we commit mortal sin, evil spirits immediately congregate like sharks at the smell of blood in the ocean, and the more blood in the ocean (the more sins) the greater the number of sharks as when Jesus explains,
“Then it [devil] goes and takes with it SEVEN other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. THAT IS HOW IT WILL BE WITH THIS WICKED GENERATION.” (Matt. 12:45)
This is why many approved private revelations say, “If man does not stop sinning,” a chastisement is coming because in a worldwide sinning transgression we give legal authority for the devil to punish us.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
So what about the Old Testament where God says to execute evil punishment like in Exodus 21:20-21 ”But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman…the men of her city shall stone her to death” and Leviticus 20:9 “For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death,” and many other scriptures.
Pope Benedict explains in Verbum Domini,
“The “dark” passages of the Bible: In discussing the Old Testament… due to the violence and immorality they occasionally contain, prove obscure and difficult. Here it must be remembered first and foremost that biblical revelation is deeply rooted in history…God chose a people and patiently worked to guide and educate them. Revelation is suited to the cultural and moral level of distant times…such as cheating and trickery, and acts of violence and massacre, without explicitly denouncing the immorality of such things…Rather, we should be aware that the correct interpretation of these passages requires a degree of expertise, acquired through a training that interprets the texts in their historical-literary context and within the Christian perspective…” 
The church’s understanding of the “mystery of evil” is revealed in the 1566 Roman Catechism saying, “I [God] make peace and create evil,” to the 1908 Catechism of Saint Pius X stating, “Jesus Christ possessed free will, but He could not do evil, since to be able to do evil is a defect, and not a perfection, of liberty.”
PUNISHMENT AFTER DEATH
When we die and go before God, we will either go to Heaven, purgatory, or hell. In purgatory, which is part of heaven, we will suffer “temporal punishment” for our venial sins via a purifying fire, or as the Catechism explains, “venial sins must be PURIFIED after death in the state called Purgatory. (1472)
The “eternal punishment” occurs in the fires of hell, and the Catechism explains it as, “Grave sin makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment.” (1472)
However, the catechism clearly explains and cautions against interpreting these punishments as type of retribution from God,
“These two punishments must not be conceived of as a KIND OF VENGEANCE INFLICTED BY GOD from without, but as following from the very nature of sin.” (1472)
When we die and go before God, He still respects our free will but even then He send us special graces of repentance for “perfect contrition” (CCC 1452) which many choose to ignore preferring the eternal punishments of hell as St. Faustina explains,
“Although a person is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that IF THE SOUL IS WILLING, it has the possibility of returning to God. But sometimes, the obduracy [hardness of heart] in souls is so great that consciously THEY CHOOSE HELL.” 
Jesus also explains how He respects our free will to enter hell and its eternal punishments,
“There are souls who despise My graces as well as all the proofs of My love. They do not wish to hear My call, but proceed into the abyss of hell. The loss of these souls plunges Me into deadly sorrow. God though I am, I cannot help such a soul because it scorns Me; having a free will, it can spurn Me or love Me. You, who are the dispenser of My mercy, tell all the world about My goodness, and thus you will comfort My Heart.” 
Of course there are also occasions when souls turn back from the gates of hell where, “Mercy triumphs over judgment,” (James 2:13) as when Jesus explains to St. Faustina, “Be constantly on the watch, for many souls will turn back from the gates of hell and worship My mercy.” 
GOD DOESN’T RETALIATE!
Finally, if you are still not convinced that “God is Love,” (1Jn.4:8), ask yourself if God has punished you with evil. God is like a parent who even though the parent has the power to kill the child doesn’t because the parent is madly in love with the child, or as Jesus tells St. Faustina, “I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls.”  Similarly, Pope Frances reiterated three times during the Angelus that God is not vindictive,
“Here is the great novelty of Christianity: A God that, although disappointed by our mistakes and our sins, does not fail in His word; He doesn’t stop and, above all, He doesn’t retaliate! Brothers and sisters, God doesn’t retaliate! God loves, He doesn’t retaliate, He waits to forgive us, to embrace us. Through the …— through situations of weakness and sin –, God continues to put in circulation the “new wine” of his vineyard, namely MERCY; this is the new wine of the Lord’s vineyard: MERCY.” (10/08/17)