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Father Muench Says...

Responding with a campaign of hope

April 24, 2013

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I had just completed a First Communion interview with an eight-year-old and her mother.  As they were leaving, the mother asked me if I had heard the news about the bombing at the Boston Marathon that afternoon.  I hadn’t.  After they left, I hustled upstairs to investigate.  It was rather shocking.

The news showed everything. I watched the news from Boston for the rest of the evening.  Too many innocent people injured – too many killed. So senseless! So senseless! Another tragedy to write about – again, too many families senselessly disrupted – innocent families disrupted.  What can be said?  Seems like only yesterday that I wrote my thoughts about a dreadful calamity in Connecticut.

I do not know anyone involved – directly or indirectly – at the Boston Marathon this year.  Yet, I know them all.  I have seen their pictures over and over again on the television news.  It feels like I know them all.  It feels like I know them all personally.  I am  getting the whole story.

So, what can I say?  You must forgive me – because I have said all of this before to you.  First, I want to weep for all those involved.  How do I feel? I want to do something.  I am not personally involved with any of those or the families that were harmed by this bombing.  Yet, I must do something – I must say something.

Each of us must do something good right now – today.  We must put some goodness into this world for what has been taken away by this dreadful action. 

Our response to this broken world will be our efforts to live better lives and make our world a better place – today.  We must do something good to fill up for the good that has been lost.

I pray – I do pray for the victims and for their families.  I also pray for those who caused this violence. I do pray that God will guide us all to some sort of repentance.  I pray that this will never happen again.  I ask you to join me in praying for any disturbed individuals out there. I know I am a bit naïve to believe that this will never happen again – however, if I lose this hope than I will have lost everything.

I have been preserved – my life has never been threatened – my loved ones have not been caught in some violent calamity.  I live a rather peaceful life.  I don’t have a care in the world.  When I go out for a walk or a drive, I don’t have to be preoccupied with all sorts of precautions. 

For this, I am thankful to God – for putting me in this peaceful place and watching over me.  Yet, I know that there are too many people in this world who cannot say this. I pray for them. I pray that one day peace may be theirs. May we soon give peace a chance.

I have not mentioned anger.  I would like to tell you that I am able to resist anger and any angry reactions.  However, I must admit that, if senseless violence would harm the life of one of my loved ones, I can’t guarantee anything. Yet, I do know that anger is so destructive and hurtful in itself – to me and to those in my life. 

I pray that the Lord will give me the grace of being a peace-filled person, that I can overcome my own anger and help others to work through their anger. Lord, may I be a force for peace and good sense – even in the worst of times.

I continue to be frightened each time such terrible acts of violence happen.  I worry – could this happen here? 

So, I continue to pray.  I will continue to bring goodness and love into my life and encourage others to do so also.

This must be my campaign of hope: that only good things happen here.

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