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When God Says No

The Mystery of Suffering and the Dynamics of Prayer

Daniel Lanahan


In many situations and throughout the ages, when people have petitioned God for the relief of their suffering, or the suffering of others, God has said "No."

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed that the "cup be taken from him," if it be God’s will. God answered no. Three times St. Paul begged God to remove the "thorn from his side." Three times God said no. When, says Father Lanahan, my family prayed desperately for my brother Neil to be cured of melanoma, God said no. When we prayed for a twenty-five-year-old niece to survive a car accident, God said no. When the victims of war in the former Yugoslavia, or in any of the hundred places war is being waged at any given time prayed; when people afflicted with cancer, alcoholism, or AIDS prayed for deliverance; when the victims of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse prayed to be spared, the answer was "No."

This book is not another theological or philosophical attempt to provide a rational solution to the divine puzzle of why God allows innocent people to suffer or why our prayers in Jesus’ name are not effective. This book attempts to provide simple, practical, pastoral insights for the ordinary person who comes to listen to the Word of God when we assemble as Church.

When God Says No ends in Heaven. Face to face with God, says Father Lanahan, we will not be given the answer to the question that no theology, no book, not even the Bible, no dogma, no authority, not even that of the Church, has ever answered: Why the suffering of the innocent? Instead, we will be blessed with the fullness of salvation and healing and made whole at last. We will be with the Answer in love forever.

Reviews & Endorsements:

January/February 2002

This slim volume plunges to the heart of a contradiction that can torment even strong believers: How can God say "Ask and ye shall receive," and then deny our requests? Most will readers will emerge from these pages without a measurably better understanding of the mystery of suffering, but perhaps better able to live with it. Lanahan differentiates between prayer as relationship with God and prayer as petition...It is a rare work that tackles a basic human dissatisfaction with God so substantially.
December 2001

[excerpted]
Lanahan addresses the tough questions, then offers a hope-filled response. For anyone who has found themselves asking similar questions, this book will be a welcomed friend.



128 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Lantern Books

Paperback
$10.00

Published:  October 2001

978-1-930051-90-4




Father Daniel Lanahan, OFM was raised in Brooklyn, NY, and joined the Holy Name Friars at age 20. He was educated in moral theology at the Catholic University of America and received his doctorate from the Alphonsian Institute in Rome. For the first 20 years of his priestly ministry, he was involved with the formation of candidates for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure University and later in East Aurora, NY where he served as president and rector. During his years of seminary work, Father Lanahan conducted many retreats, days of reflection and weekends of prayer.

After completing his work in the seminary, Father Lanahan was part of a team ministering to a New Jersey parish for four years. In 1986 he joined the Franciscan Ministry of the Word parish renewal team and in this capacity, he conducted numerous retreats and parish missions. He is also the author of When God Says No: The Mystery of Suffering and the Dynamics of Prayer.
See all books by Daniel Lanahan


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