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Posts Tagged ‘Boston Marathon Bombing’

Batoni_sacred_heart

About 80 years ago, a Polish nun named Sister Maria Faustyna Kowalska received private revelations from Jesus Christ focusing on the depth of the Divine Mercy and the world’s desperate need for it.

(Note: These were private revelations and are therefore not required content of belief for Catholics; but the Catholic Church has approved these revelations as being worthy of belief, and they have inspired a wonderful devotion among the faithful.)

Why do I mention this?

Boston_Marathon_aftermath_people

Well, a couple of days ago a friend of mine was reading the latest on the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  This person has very young grandchildren, and commented on how scary it was to think that her grandchildren would be growing up in a world like the one we have today.

When Jesus appeared to Saint Faustyna, He promised that in a time of unprecedented evil, He would respond with unprecedented grace.

Since Saint Faustyna’s death in 1938, the troubles of the world seem to have grown progressively greater.  The world as a whole seems to be less safe, and the moral compass of Western civilization is clearly less steady.

At the same time, the Divine Mercy devotion has grown in popularity and in practice (especially since the pontificate of John Paul II, who has been called the “Divine Mercy Pope”).

As bad as things may seem, God has not forgotten us…far from it.  In fact His love and mercy are infinitely greater than we could ever hope for or imagine, and He only waits for us to turn to Him with our whole hearts.

Here is a link to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, for anyone who is interested:

http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm

Images from Wikipedia

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Boston_Marathon_explosions_(8652971845)Again, tragedy has visited our nation.  Due to a senseless act of violence, at least 141 people are wounded and three people have lost their lives at the world famous Boston Marathon.

The same holds true for this unhappy circumstance as for the tragedy at Newtown, CT — there are no words sufficient to address the why of something so awful.

And yet there is still hope, and we must never forget that.

…the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

The Demidoff Altarpiece: Saint Stephen

I can’t help but reflect on the fact that the first readings for Catholic Daily Mass both yesterday (when the bombings happened) and today (which stands in the tragedy’s immediate wake) focus on the figure of St. Stephen, Christianity’s first martyr.  This morning, we read of his death by stoning for proclaiming the Gospel in Jerusalem:

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7: 59-60)

There is an obvious echo of Jesus’ words on the Cross here:

Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

In the face of such things as what happened yesterday in Boston, we often feel either despair or a twisted desire for revenge.  We must resist despair by reminding ourselves that we can — indeed, must — always do something, however little, to overcome the dysfunction of the world, and we must resist the impulse toward revenge by remembering that evil only begets more evil; evil can only be overcome by good, hatred only by love.

May we be imitators of St. Stephen, who boldly and tirelessly defended Truth and Goodness Himself, yet confronted hatred with forgiveness.

Here is a related article — short, and well worth your time if you have a chance to read it: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-urges-bostonians-to-combat-evil-with-good/

Images from Wikipedia

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