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Suffering and charity in the dark night of the soul

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2015

Department of Philosophy, Saint Louis University, 3800 Lindell Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63108, USA e-mail:


Eleonore Stump's solution to the problem of suffering fails to show how God could be justified in permitting persons to suffer the dark night of the soul. In this article, I explain why and offer an amendment. I contend that a person who responds to the dark night in the right way experiences positive feedback between suffering and charity. This feedback not only enables the sufferer ultimately to attain his heart's desire but also explains why God is justified in permitting persons to suffer the dark night.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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