We are still reeling from the reports coming from Sandy Hook School. It will be some time before we can hear that name without feeling a chill at the bone, especially since so many of us are involved with little people in our schools.
But one added sadness is that the reports usually speak of “the 26 who died.” There were, after all, 27 who died in that building. The circumstances were tragically different, but for us who are constantly trying to bring about the Culture of Life that John Paul the Great spoke of so often, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there was once on this earth a human being who suffered so intensely that he could only find release in taking the lives of others and then his own. What loneliness, what emptiness he must have felt. With what longing his mother must have tried to lead him out of his frequent darknesses into the light of hope. They were both parishioners of the Catholic parish in Newtown, after all. We can only imagine how fervently she must have prayed, day after day, for her son. And the media calls him a monster…. He was a child of God and of his mother, but now the world only knows him as a monster.
Ah. I almost forgot. There were 28 who died. Forgive me.
Who met Adam Lanza when he came to Eternity? Was it his mother, so newly having arrived there herself? Was it the Mother of Jesus? Was it Jesus Himself? Might He Who once spoke of the Prodigal Son have put His arms around this young man and said, “Come, sit down here and tell me all about it, Adam” ?
There is a beautiful song making the rounds on the Christian radio stations, in which the artist asks God to transform him into a new creation. He prays, “Let what breaks Your Heart, break mine.” He is asking that he be filled with the compassion of God for all the heartache and pain that fills the world. He asks to be taught to look upon the sinfulness that frightens us with the same desire to save the sinner that God feels. And the singer wants to look upon all the darkness in the world with the same love that sent the very Son of God down to lead us into the Light of Hope.
May all the Adam Lanzas of the world today find themselves face to face with a compassionate heart that splits their darkness and fills their souls with Hope so that no more children have to die. And no more Adam Lanzas have to snuff out little lives before taking their own. May each of us be transformed into hearts of compassion for our suffering world. This morning’s Holy Communion was meant to do that.
In Christ’s broken Heart,
Mother Marie Julie