Why are there so many natural disasters? The Book of Revelation refers to such events, but does not explain them. God promised Noah he would never again flood the earth and destroy all flesh (see Gn 9:11). Who is sending natural disasters? Who has sent them in the past? We know God allows them, because nothing happens apart from His overall plan.

To understand why there are natural disasters we need to ponder Romans 8:19-23: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God … because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now” (RSV).

Now, we know Adam’s sin not only was a calamity for the human race. Adam’s rebellion against God also infected the cosmos. The sacred writer, St. Paul, hears the cosmos crying out like a woman with labor pains.

The promise of the Gospel is summed up in this way by the Second Vatican Council: “The Church … will attain its full perfection only in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all things. At that time the human race as well as the entire world, which is intimately related to man and attains to its end through him, will be perfectly reestablished in Christ” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, No. 48).