Maureen Dowd has a great editorial in the New York Times where she invites a priest friend to offer his take on a question which often comes up when we deal with adversity and tragedy. In short, he says he doesn't know the answer, but we can take solace in the comfort, love and support of others in trying times.
There is even more powerful stuff in the comments section after the article. I list some of the ones I found truly touching below. I am throwing this out here for general discussion. As one commentator noted, the priest didn't answer the central question and seemed not to know. How does this impact our belief systems? All comments welcome.