Monday, December 17, 2012

where there is no love...


"Where there is no love, put love, and there you will find love"
--St. John of the Cross

This weekend, for most Americans, has been an emotionally-charged and confusing few days, myself included. I am speechless and heart broken following this newest tragedy. But my faith tells me that this is not in vain. As Father Steve said during his homily at Mass this morning, the shadow of the Cross loomed over even the light of the manger. We know that suffering exists in this world, even suffering that can seem inexplicable. There are new saints in heaven, but these are not the first martyrs our world has seen.

While the healing will certainly take time, the world is still turning. On Saturday morning, hoping to fight evil with goodness, beauty, and God's love, I volunteered at the Mission at Our Lady of the Angels. Their annual Christmas party serves their entire neighborhood, over a thousand families, children, seniors, and others who most likely would not have had anything. I saw dozens of kids beam at the sight of Santa. The entire gym was piled with brand new toys, donated so that these children would experience what many of us take for granted. Turkeys were donated so that the meal on Christmas would be special. As the families and neighbors filed in, there was excitement in the air and smiles on faces. All because they were receiving love. Love from strangers, love from God, love in a place they don't normally feel it. 

It was strange to feel such joy so soon after an incredible tragedy. It was almost guilt-inducing to be celebrating Christmas when so many families are in mourning. But then I heard the quote above this morning. And it hit me. The only way to heal from something like this is to put even more love into the world. It is what the saints all learned. It is what Mother Teresa knew. It's what the community at OLA practices. And it is the only solution to the evil in this world. 

pax christi.

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