For many families and individuals, this has been a painful week. I am referring especially to the shootings at Virginia Tech. The young perpetrator was obviously mentally disturbed. As one TV commentator remarked, "Hindsight is 100% surer than foresight." As we look to the past of that young man, then we see a trail of abnormal and disturbing behavior. Let us pray that in the future any such individuals will be helped long before they reach a point of no return.
The Presidential Prayer Team website gave an opportunity to sign a cyber "wall" for the victims and their families. When I responded to the PPT website, I thought of the words of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). She lived in unsettled times in Italy when the opposing parties--Ghibelline's and Guelph's--were antagonizing each other, and the Pope was living in Avignon, France, rather than in Rome.
Catherine learned a ot from prayer. Even though she had not gone to school, she was fearless when she felt it was God's will to act in a certain way. That certainty of being anchored to the Will of God gave her the courage to go to the Pope and respectfully urge him to move back to Rome. Despite her lack of academic skills, Catherine became a spiritual leader, and a mystic. One of her writings describes Jesus as "a sea of peace." I pray that the Lord will plunge the families of the deceased and wounded into this Sea of Peace, so they will be consoled in this time of grief and sorrow. May Jesus grant his peace to each of the deceased as well as to the survivors. May his strength and love console those who grieve.
On a much brighter side, it was a delight to be in our book and media center today to witness how many young people are approaching the sacrament of the Eucharist as they make their "First Holy Communion" this weekend or very soon in May. Many youngsters are going to have a Jesus-filled day when they receive the Body and Blood of the Lord for the first time. The graces of the Holy Spirit will anoint many young people as the Bishops of the Archdiocese confer the sacrament of Confirmation on many young people, and some adults in the Archdiocese. We pray that the remembrance of Who jesus is, his teachings and the examples of the Saints will help to prolong the spiritual effects of these two sacraments.
Today was one of unmitigated sunshine and mild temperatures in Toronto. It's amazing to watch how faces brighten too when the sun comes out. I thank the Lord for giving us good weather, espcially for all the young childen who will be receiving the Lord for the first time in Holy Communion.
Sister Mary Peter