“A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.” Mt. 2:18
It’s hard to put (figurative) pen to (figurative) paper in light of an event as evil as the massacre that happened in Newtown, CT on Friday. A colleague’s niece was among those killed.
I’m grateful for the way my writing this post is continually being interrupted by the sound of my children playing happily (at the moment anyway) in their playroom, the sound of their feet as they come running to show me some toy or (pretend) food they have. Gabriel just brought me a pretend carrot with, he says, chocolate chips on it.
Theodicy, or in layman’s terms, the problem of evil. No good explanation of theological terms and concepts, no matter how true, logical or inspired, can ever give an answer to Rachel weeping. Rachel weeping, refusing to be consoled. How can you even speak any words of hope when everything seems to be darkness? Every phrase that people murmur in times like these rings hollow, as worthless cliches.
Yet not all is darkness.
The fundamental truth on which Christianity is based is that Golgotha always must proceed Easter. Christ crucified is what we proclaim. That Christ, God, Infinite, Innocent and Holy, suffered, took on all suffering, death and sin, that darkness fell over the land, the sun was covered and all hope was lost. That he gave up his spirit and died, murdered by those He had come to set free. If the Infinite suffered, the suffering was infinite and contained all suffering including Fridays. Christ crucified contains the suffering of those families – their suffering participates in the Cross.
Yet darkness was not the end of the story.
Today is still too soon to write about Easter for those families. Rachel weeping, still refuses to be consoled.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou amongst women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of death.
The vigil/service tonight is at 7:00PM. For those, like me, who can’t be there I encourage you to offer a Rosary, or Divine Mercy chaplet (For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on us and on the whole world) or other suitable prayer for all those families directly affected by this horror. For all of those who are Rachel weeping, refusing to be consoled. Trust that “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”