Motto:

“In Orthodox circles, following the Holy Fathers, we make a distinction between God’s “permissive” will and His “intentional” will. As Lord of all, God permits or allows such disasters to happen. Yet He remains a God of Love, who would never, for any reason, inflict wanton destruction on entire populations. He may allow pain and suffering to visit particular individuals, including you and me. But He does so always for a purpose, often beyond our comprehension. There is no doubt that at times He does so for our good, as a burdensome yet effective pedagogical tool to correct us and lead us to repentance. Where apparently meaningless suffering afflicts the truly innocent, we can only surrender, in faith and hope, before the impenetrable divine mystery that allows no rational analysis, no figuring out of the whys or wherefores. God, then, is involved in suffering, as He is in every other aspect of created existence.”

Fr. John Breck in: Can God Suffer?

 

And an older podcast (MP3) of Fr. John Oliver taken from Ancient Faith Radio at:

A Reflection on Natural Disasters