Tragedy in Boston: Choose to Be People of Hope

Yesterday afternoon we learned of the horrific explosions in Boston near the marathon finish line. As the hours unfolded and we watched the images play repeatedly on TV, we learned of the massive amount of injuries and of the death overnight of the third victim. Many have paused and asked questions about the evil in our world today. And though we might be led to despair, rather may we look with hope to our Lord’s loving mercy and to the goodness of people in times of crisis: those who immediately turn to help without regard for their own safety, those who respond using their gifts and talents to assist those in need, and the millions who stop and turn to prayer asking our Lord to watch over all of us in these times of horrific tragedy.
My Twitter and Facebook feed was overrun last night with news and thoughts about Boston. I watched in awe as post after post on my Facebook newsfeed contained words of prayer and loving support. As always I tell my John Carroll students, in good times and in bad, God is good: All the time. His mercy and love are always with us, even when the events and challenges we face seem insurmountable. Yes, God is indeed in the clouds: In dark times we need the Light of Christ to guide our way.
The Archdiocese of Boston posted yesterday on their Facebook page: “As reports of death and injuries are reported, we ask you to please turn to the Lord each time to pray for them and for those who love them that they would receive the consolation of the Holy Spirit, the mercy of God, and the loving maternal embrace of our Blessed Mother.”
May we indeed be a people of hope, not despair, as we turn to our merciful Lord in prayer for all those affected. And may we always embrace the spiritual focus of The John Carroll School to “Go, Make a Difference.” As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Let us pray that we might always combat violence and hatred in our world, our communities, and in our hearts:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

For further reading:
1.    Telegram sent by Pope Francis, through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap, Archbishop of Boston: 
“Deeply grieved by news of the loss of life and grave injuries caused by the act of violence perpetrated last evening in Boston, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes me to assure you of his sympathy and closeness in prayer. In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy, His Holiness invokes God’s peace upon the dead, his consolation upon the suffering, and his strength upon all those engaged in the continuing work of relief and response. At this time of mourning the Holy Father prays that all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21), working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations yet to come.”
2.    Read the statement of Archbishop William Lori issued after the explosions
4. Suggestions on how to talk to your children about the Boston tragedy here
5. How to field your children’s questions when you as a parent don’t have all the answers here

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.