Tragedies can shake faith in God

Back in 1776 Thomas Paine wrote "these are the times that try men's souls".

More than 200 years later Paine's observation seems fitting in the wake of mass school shooting in Connecticut.

So what are we to do when our souls and faith are tested.

Reverend Pete Mingo who pastors the Christ Temple Full Gospel Missionary Baptist Church says "The Bible tells us how to deal with situations like this. It says trust in the Lord with all thine heart."

Mingo admits that trust may be shaken by tragedy. "We need to be able to embrace, embrace rather our belief, hold onto God because in times like this he is all that we have. Our faith will be tested."

Father Luis Gasparini with the Cincinnati Archdiocese admits some people may ask how a loving God could allow the massacre of the innocent. "How does he allow this. How can he permit that and I think neither of them. I think God doesn't really have anything to do with that. I would say, in a very rough type of way, its our doing. The privilege of making choices and living in a beautiful country we have the privilege of doing great things and unfortunately we have the freedom to do bad ones."

Through the pain and aguish Father Gasparini urges people to realize that God is always there. "We believe that the power of God is bigger and greater than the power than the power of evil and so we trust in him."

Rev. Mingo says "There is such a thing as pure evil in the world, but there is a God in heaven who hears and answers prayer."

Mingo also says trying to make sense of tragedy may be a lost cause. "Our understanding is so limited that we will look for reasons instead of looking for God, we'll be looking for causes instead of looking for God, we'll blame instead of looking for God."

Father Gasparini says "There is no reason good enough to justify it....right...and so we can't go that route. We need to grab our faith, our trust in God....and in spite of this and through this mess we believe that your children are good....and hopefully we'll learn something."

A University of Wisconsin study found that 75 percent of Americans who pray regularly report it helps get them trough tough situations, but exactly how they find that relief is still an open question.