If God is good, why did he take my daughter? By Charles P. Connor

17 10 2014

if God is so Good why did he take my daughter

One day, Bishop Fulton Sheen telephoned a congresswoman from Connecticut named Clare Boothe Luce and invited her to dinner. After dinner, as they got into the subject of religion, He said: “Give me five minutes to talk to you about God, and then I will give you an hour to state your own views.” About the third minute, when he mentioned the goodness of God, she immediately bounded out of her chair,stuck her finger under his nose and said: “If God is good, why did he take my daughter?” Her young daughter, a short time before, had been killed in an automobile accident.
He answered: “In order that through that sorrow, you might be here now starting instructions to know Christ and His Church.”
Clare Luce was the wife of Henry Luce, the founder of an empire that would come to include such publications as Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, and People magazines. She was a distinguished author, writer of Broadway plays,and, at various times in her life, a congresswoman and United States ambassador to Italy. The Catholic Faith presented her with a body of truth to which she was able to give the complete assent of her mind, and we can only conclude that an intellectual assent on the part of Mrs. Luce must have been quite exceptional, since Fulton Sheen observed about her: “Never in my life have I been privileged to instruct anyone who was as brilliant and who was so scintillating in conversation as Mrs. Luce.”  Clare had not had an especially happy childhood, and her life was filled with significant ups and downs. She was never able to pinpoint the root of her conversion, only a childhood episode of standing on the beach thinking of her own smallness contrasted with the immensity of the ocean. The experience gave her an overwhelming sense of a higher power, the same sense she experienced years later attending Mass: A conversion … is the climax of a thousand secret graces. The convert is one who knows well that God is truly at work in the world. . . . “God does not let a day go by without sending someone or something to seek entry for Him. . . . All the past, sweet or bitter, harsh or gentle, brilliant or shabby, is sowing the seed for conversion. All things are preparations in the soul for the blossoming of faith.” This process, of course, begins with a divine initiative in which the soul is transformed. The convert walks “from darkness to light”, Mrs. Luce once said, and there is not a day in his life when he is not filled with thankfulness for “God’s infinite persistence and ingenuity in pursuit”.
The Trappist Order became the beneficiary of this famous convert’s largesse; the Luce home in South Carolina is now Mepkin Abbey, where pilgrims may visit the graves of Henry and Clare Luce. Hers was a fascinating life, as was the life of the priest who instructed her in the Faith. There were hundreds of people who came to the fullness of truth because of the writings, radio and television broadcasts, and sermons of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
Story adapted from Classic Catholic Converts by FATHER CHARLES P. CONNOR



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