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By Fr Dwight Longenecker

4/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Fr Dwight Longenecker

Catholic Online (

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


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