Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

4/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The fact of the matter is that God is in the middle of all the emotions-in the middle of the mess with us.

Where is God in the midst of the horror?  Just where he always is, in the midst of the mess. He's there suffering with the victims, bearing the horror with us and weeping with those who mourn and raging with those who rage.

Highlights

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Sandy Hook, Boston, Boston marathon, Boston bombing, Fr Dwight Longenecker


GRRENVILLE, SC (Catholic Online) - After Sandy Hook our nation faces the bomb blasts of Boston. In the midst of a beautiful Spring day when crowds are gathered to celebrate a community sporting event the day is shattered by tragedy.

Where is God in the midst of the horror?  Just where he always is, in the midst of the mess. He's there suffering with the victims, bearing the horror with us and weeping with those who mourn and raging with those who rage.

Do you feel righteous rage at the insanity and senselessness of this evil? So does God. Now you understand what God's wrath is like. God's anger is not arbitrary or petty. He is angry when something beautiful is broken and when something innocent is devoured by evil.

Do you feel helpless sorrow, pity and nameless frustration in the face of such terror? So does God. Now you understand his frustration and anger at humanity's inhumanity.

Do you feel compassion and heartache, and don't you want to do something for the people who are hurting-do just anything you can? So does God. Now you know how much he longs to come in to our lives and help us and do something for us to heal and reconcile and make things right.

Don't you feel rage and frustration and confusion and fear for the deranged and sick person who planned and perpetrated the outrage? Don't you ask what made him do such a thing? What turned the nameless bomber into a murderous monster?

The fact of the matter is that God is in the middle of all the emotions-in the middle of the mess with us.

Why doesn't he step in and stop the evil? Because he's God and he created our race with free will. He allows us to do what we will. He does not impose his will on us-even when he sees what horrors we have planned.

He did not deliver his own son from torture and death, but instead brought out of that darkness a new light for mankind. That's how he handles it. He works endlessly and eternally to bring good out of evil, to bring light out of darkness, to bring life out of death and hope out of despair.

This creative work of his is something he calls us to share in. We co-operate with this creative work of reconcilation. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation-to somehow fashion out of the horror-hope-to somehow keep on struggling against all odds to overcome the tsunami of evil that threatens to sweep over.

Where did the evil come from in the first place? You can't blame it on religion. For every deranged and twisted religious maniac there  are a thousand sincere, good and moral religious people.

You can't blame it on politics. There are plenty of people who use politics to help heal the world and mend our broken society.

All we can do is admit that someone somewhere is very broken and twisted, wounded and full of rage. Furthermore, we must also admit that our whole society is broken. Our world is broken.

Our world is locked in a cycle of selfishness, greed, lust and violence. What I'm getting at is this: our Western society is sick-sick through and through with an insidious cancer. Just beneath the smiling surface of America there is a cancer of sin, and the symptom of this sickness is violence. Beneath our smiling success is a history of war, violence and greed.

I am just as horrified as the next person at the senseless bombing in Boston, and I truly hope I am wrong, but I predict more of the same. This bombing came out of some dark place in our world and our American society shares in this darkness just like the rest of the world.

The dark wound is deep down in our culture, and it will continue to poke out it's monstrous head and ravage our land whenever it gets the chance. This violence and the other recent violence has burst forth from our whole collective human race.

Even if he is a foreigner, the person who planned the bomb is our son. He is our offspring. We produced him. Beneath the surface, our society is deeply unhealthy, and unless something is done to correct that sickness, the cycle of violence will continue.

-----

Fr Dwight Longenecker is the pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina. Browse his books, connect with his blog and be in touch at dwightlongenecker.com

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Died in Service. Thank Those who Serve. Pray For the Nation Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Chaplains - A Reminder that We Are One Nation Under God Watch

Image of

By Fr. Randy Sly

The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Honor Our Nation with Heroic Sacrifice Watch

Image of Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you and your families.  Godspeed, and come home soon.

By Jennifer Hartline

Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading


MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading


UC Santa Barbara massacre survivor speaks on the day's events and his journey to recovery Watch

Image of www.thisischriswhite.com

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fateful night of May 23, 2014, Antoine Cherchian managed to survive being shot by the virgin killer, Elliot Rodger, during his killing spree at UC Santa Barbara. While Cherchian sustained fatal injuries, along with six other students murdered, he is thankful for ... continue reading


Crackdown by federal agents on 'Pill Mills' in four southern states Watch

Image of An average of 44 people in the U.S. dies every day from opioids. These drugs include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Drug Enforcement Administration and other authorities are raiding pharmacies, pain clinics and other facilities in four southern U.S. states. It is all part of an aggressive crackdown on prescription pain drug abuse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Matt C. Abbott: Why I wrote Pope Francis about an exorcist

Image of Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of Robbie, the teenaged boy whose case inspired William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel The Exorcist, which subsequently was made into a feature film.

By Matt C. Abbott

Here's one name I haven't heard mentioned in regard to possible canonization, yet it seems he'd be a good candidate: Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern, who was born in 1897 and died in 1983, was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of "Robbie," ... continue reading


FBI lectures High school students on resisting ISIS recruitment Watch

Image of The FBI is planning to take its message to other schools in the Tri-State Area to reach kids at critical adolescent ages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

High school students at Bergen County School, in Bergen County, New Jersey got a surprise lecture from FBI agents. They warned students away from sophisticated new techniques used by Islamic State to join their ranks. In particular, a new ISIS-produced video ... continue reading


Bin Laden's secret files: What we found and what's been released Watch

Image of The U.S. Department of National Intelligence has released a report of documents that were captured during the May 1, 2011 raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government has begun declassifying and releasing documents that were captured during the 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, and some of what has been released shows that America's number one enemy for almost a decade was obsessed with ... continue reading


Are there weapons aboard? U.S. Air Force space shuttle's secret contents no longer a secret Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space shuttle, launched into Earth's orbit, was revealed not to contain weapons as many feared. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to the published manifest, the space shuttle carries a new form of Hall ion-powered ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter