For a New Spiritual Awakening

To the parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, and friends of the innocents who died yesterday in Newtown, Conn., we remember you in our prayers.

Christmas and New Year’s will come amidst great sorrow.

“A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not,” (Mt. 2:18).

Families who should be celebrating the Nativity of Christ are now instead consumed with planning funerals for their children and seeking answers to why their little ones can no longer come home. Theirs are a grief and sorrow that they will carry for many years, until their hearts heal. They will never “get over” their grief. Its pain will lessen as they learn to live with their losses, and they will never forget. May they have understanding relatives and friends to comfort them with words, hugs, service, and silence, as needed.

What can greater school security measures do except turn schools into fortresses? One report I read said that the school had initiated a new security system and protocols. But the son of a teacher entered the building and shot his way past all the safeguards and guardians. The responding police officers were brave and immediately threw themselves into danger, their presence probably bringing an end to the shooting. But their arrival was even then too late for so many.

Is this incident a compelling reason to allow citizens to carry guns or non-lethal weapons for self-defense? Maybe. But weapons do not belong in a school, unless we want to turn schools into fortresses and deputize and arm every principal, teacher, and staff member. Should we go that far?

We must face the truth. American society has degenerated. Great evils roam freely about our country. Demagogues speak of a trumped-up “war on women,” when, in fact, we have a real “War on Children” in this country being waged by all who destroy their innocence, their health, their homes, and their lives, even in the womb.

The security we seek may not be found in the restrictive and punitive laws of men that control human behavior, but in the laws of God that reach deeper into the human mind, soul, heart, and will. The civil laws we have are still good, but it will take a new spiritual awakening to move Americans to live by them. It will take a new spiritual awakening to bring God back into public life.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

* * *