Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why, God?

As I stood outside the gate at dismissal on Friday, many of you asked me one simple question: "Why?"

Events like last Friday's in Newtown, Connecticut break into our daily routines, leaving us in shock. I found out while I was actually on the phone with an I.T. guy, talking about fixing one of our school's computers. He and I both took a moment just to absorb it. Since that time, my prayer intentions have included all of those affected, but especially the parents. As a parent of two young ones, the images of their grief tug so strongly at my heart that I can barely contain the tears.

Here is an excerpt of what we wrote to our school families today: 
. . . When evil so violently and shockingly interrupts our everyday lives, we are reminded that life is fragile, our lives are temporary, and this earth is not our eternal home.  
     When the result of our first parents' sin is an incomprehensible act of evil and the loss of precious innocent life, we are shaken to the depths of our soul. For a time, we see our lives, our families-- indeed, all of the blessings that God has given us-- in a different light. It's almost as if our vision has been refocused, and so much of what seemed important melts away. We find ourselves focusing only on what is enduring: our families, our children, and most importantly, the love of a God who knows the sorrow of seeing His precious child die.
Today, I have a simple prayer, aside from those that will continue for the victims and their families. Today, I ask God to help me keep my vision focused on those things that are truly important: His love, my wife, my children, my family and friends, and each and every one of you who comes in and out of our school each day, seeking the same focus. 

We're all traveling the same road to Heaven together. May God always bless us with His loving care.

Note: If you're struggling with the difficulties of talking with your children about violence and its effects, or if you need spiritual support, you may find these links helpful.

Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers, National Association of School Psychologists
Talking to Kids about Traumatic Events, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
The Mystery of Pain, The Solace of Faith, An opinion piece by Fr. James Martin, S.J.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 413-421, Read the Catechism in a Year, Day 62 @

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