I was hoping this week we might pen something wonderful and inspiring without having the shadow of another tragedy over-powering the good in the world. Perhaps over-powering is too strong a view, but it is at least consuming our news cycles. As Americans try to regroup again from another violent act, questions of faith are thrown once more into the air, provoking responses of sadness, prayer and anger from our midst.
There seems to be an insatiable demand for these weapons. I was listening to anther Texas pastor the day after the shooting. He commented “This would not happen in my church … because 25% of my parishioners have concealed carry permits and have weapons with them.” What a frightening prospect! It reminds me of the shock I had at Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC during this summer; when I found the exposed Blessed Sacrament being protected by an armed member of the New York police force. The juxtaposition of the House of God and weapons seemed very counterintuitive to me.
When Jesus Christ gave us eternal spiritual life through His own sacrifice and example, it is hard to understand the powerful methods available to those who want to create havoc in the world. We know the inner peace of the Holy Spirit has in someway been rejected by the culprits. We may never know the inner turmoil of a mind which consider such actions as possible, but rather save our empathy for those affected victims.
The beatitudes provide us with great guidance at these times, of what God wants us to become, so we can be closer to Him. However, we also need courage. Courage to move to enact the beatitudes in our lives as action, not just as words or silent prayer. The source of this courage is the Holy Spirit. Today, as with many recent days, we need reach out more as ask for the courage to do His will.
And for the wisdom to discern where He beckons us … so we can follow.
The sad bird lands again in the family garden,
Unexpected, and hungry to leave some baggage there,
For us to consider,
As she stares at us from the garden,
Expressionless, holding no anger,
Rather sitting for us to view the disarray,
Which is our life today.
Leaving us to consider active and lost love in both hands,