How do we deal with evil
and its tragic consequences?
Question: What can we possibly say, how can we respond to the
tragedies caused by the acts of terrorism in the United States on September
of us will forget September 11, 2001. We probably will remember
where we were and the growing horror that we felt as that terrible day
unfolded, and the days since. And w e are going to experience more,
as the statistics of the tragedy--the 5000 or more dead or missing--become
faces of real people, family members, friends and neighbors.
have experienced evil these days. Evil that is cunning, ruthless and
seemingly victorious. Evil that, perversely, is done in the name of
can we explain this to our children? More importantly, how can we deal
with this ourselves?
working at the wreckage at "Ground Zero," the site where once the great
World Trade Center stood, said in an interview the other day that he
was just trying to save what life he could. But he ended by saying that
only God could make sense of this. The President wisely directed that
the following Friday should be a day of prayer. Only God can make sense
sense does God give us for this? As Christians we turn to Jesus
Christ, God's Son and God's Word. And Jesus points us to the mystery
of his cross, always so difficult for us to understand. He points to
another scene of desolation, another place of death, another apparent
victory for evil.
who were there on Calvary on the day Jesus died saw only that. In a
few days, they would see something else. They would hear the voice of
the one they thought was dead, they would see the shining wounds on
his body; he was alive, and they would feel life again. But then, they
saw only death.
is the pattern we follow too, in our personal lives and in our world.
Christ has died, Christ is risen. We die, we rise. We are at the first
stage of that pattern. We look for signs of hope. We look for resurrection.
And it will come.
Easter Sunday, Jesus came into the dark room where his disciples were
and breathed his Holy Spirit on them. Believing in the mystery of his
resurrection, we ask him to breathe eternal life on those who have died,
to breathe new life on those they have left behind.
Jesus rose, he breathed new purpose into those who followed him.
They went to the ends of the earth, not to separate peoples from one
another, not to destroy the unity of nations, but to bring them together.
May that resurrection grace be given to us.
the roof of the building where I live in Union City, you can look over
at the New York skyline. Standing there the other day, a short sentence
from the gospel story of the Passion of Jesus came to my mind. When
he died, the gospels says, "There were some women, standing at a distance,
have a Calvary not far from us. In one sense, we stand like the women,
helpless, at a distance, looking at a great Calvary with its ruins,
its darkness, its smoke, its death.
the God of life bring life and new purpose from this place.
How do we deal with evil and its tragic consequences?
the Towers Fell, by Maureen Skelly, SCH, police chaplain in New
in Time of Sorrow,
a virtual retreat directed by Columkille Regan, C.P.