Newtown

There are no words to say, unspeakable horror is just that, unspeakable. This is the day that only God can provide comfort for, 20 kids and six adults, shot dead in a school. God help us all. They have no idea of motive, well how could they. What motive could justify this even in a deranged mind. There is only God. The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia said what can be said, far better than I.

Newtown and the God who Knows

“In the face of horror … there is no other answer than the cross of Christ: Love that descends to the abyss of evil.” — Pope Benedict XVI

Words fail at this terrible news, somehow made all the more tragic for the season.

Christmas is coming. These beautiful children, who likely had written their letters to Santa, or perhaps had opened a new window in an Advent calendar before going to school, are lost to us — now — in these weeks where nothing gives us a sense of promise, a future and a hope, than a child’s smile.

God help us.

In Advent, the days are short; the light is scarce and darkness gathers more fully every day. And today it nearly encompasses our hearts. We need light; we need illumination, because we do not understand.

Striking a match, by the flickering light of our Advent candles tonight, we sing:

O Come, O Come Emmanuel/and ransom captive Israel/that mourns in lonely exile, here/until the son of God appear.

Tonight all I can see is that word, “Isra-el”

Your name will no longer be Jacob but Israel [He Struggles With God], because you have struggled with God and with men-and you have won.” (Gen 32:28)

We all of us struggle, every day, with God and with mankind. Today, our name is Israel, and we struggle.

The chant, then, resonates more deeply:

O Come, O Come God-With-Us/and ransom we who struggle with you, with men/and mourn in lonely exile, here/until the God-Who-Knows appear.

God help us. There are no words. No one has new wisdom. We are broken and in our wounds evil enters in and battles goodness, and all I can do is run to the crucifix and bend low before it and remember these parents, these children, in my prayers, and turn to Christ and his Mother, who understand.

Anger at God is normal. And God has big shoulders, He can take it.

I have found that when it is too much to think of God, it’s easier to think of Mary, who “never did anything to deserve it,” -who spent her whole life only saying “yes” to Him, and in service to His biggest project, ever- but who still had to stay at the foot of her son’s cross and watch him die a most horrible death, after having endured terrible cruelty.

Even she didn’t know what was going to happen next. A mother grieves the unbearable loss of her son, through Passover, and then goes to anoint his body only to find it gone!

What sort of torment is this? Then he is back (!) but he is no longer hers alone, if he had ever been – and for the rest of her life, as she watches His church take shape and form, and helps where she can, she still has all of those memories – the memories a mother cherishes – of an infant tugging at the collar of her gown, looking to nurse, of her son and his loving six-year-old hugs, the scraped knees, the scampish days, the meals they shared. None of this could have been easy for Mary to remember or to reconcile with her human self, or her maternity. He is God. But he was her son, and always will be. He is her son. Her little lad. Her God.

And this is why we call Mary the “Help of Christians.” When it gets very hard, when we feel a little disconnected from God, whether we want to be disconnected or not, when we feel we have been given an unjust burden, we can look at Mary and realize that yes, she kept the faith, but she knew everything we know about how hard life can be. She’s lived through it, and if we ask her to, she’ll pray for us in our suffering.

The cross. The Mother. The Son. Nothing in the Gospels is extraneous, or there without purpose. It is all meant for us, for our understanding and our consolation, too.

Continue reading Newtown and the God who Knows.

How did our society produce such monsters, two in this week alone. The guns as always, will be a target but, they are no more than tools, those same tools, in other hands could have saved those children. The perpetrators, I dislike the word but what else can one call them, would have killed with a knife, or a stick, or his bare hands; the hand that holds the tool, defines the use it is put to.

I think a lot of it is our society. We have taken personal responsibility away from people, to the point that there supposedly educated people claiming that we have no free will, that we are nothing but automatons programmed to do what we do. I don’t need to tell you how obscene that view is but, it has been put forward in all seriousness. It’s obscene because it completely eliminates the concept of good and  evil, not to mention criminality. It reduces us to a jungle animal, looking out only for ourselves.

But you know as terrible as this atrocity is, to me it pales in comparison with the 3,315 babies who were poisoned or dismembered alive today, in the safest place they will ever know, their mother’s womb. Think about that as we go through advent, every day in the United States we kill more than 3300 babies and if they happen to survive we allow them to starve and then throw them in a dumpster. But that’s apparently all right. What, exactly is the difference?

The Anchoress referred to Our Lady above, and several of us have talked about her lately. Here was a woman, a girl really, who, simply because Gabriel told her so, carried in her the Son of God himself. If Joseph had wished, she would have been stoned, for that was the prescribed punishment for an unmarried pregnant woman.

What, exactly has our society devolved into, that it thinks it’s all right to murder babies? And how is it worse if they are 5 years old?

I think we need all of us to beg God for forgiveness for what we have allowed our society to become.

In the Anglican Ordinariate coming down from the preVatican 2 Roman Catholic Church there is a 13th century Latin Poem translated in the 19th century to English, it is used as the sequence in the requiem mass, I find it most appropriate, this is it

Dies Irae

The day of wrath, that dreadful day, Shall all the world in ashes lay, As David and the Sibyl say.

What tremor shall the soul affright, When comes that Judge whose searching light Brings thought and word and deed to light.

The last loud trumpet’s spreading tone Shall through the place of tombs be blown, To summon all before the throne.

Death is struck, and nature quaking, All creation is awaking To its Judge an answer making.

The written book shall be outspread, And all that it contains be read, To try the living and the dead.

Then shall the Judge His throne attain, And every secret sin arraign, Till nothing unavenged remain.

What shall my guilty conscience plead, And who for me will intercede, When even saints forgiveness need?

King of tremendous majesty! Who savest whom Thou savest, free, Thou fount of pity, save Thou me.

Remember, Jesus Lord, I pray, For me Thou walked’st on life’s way; Confound me not on this last day.

‘Twas me Thy weary footsteps sought, My ransom on the Cross was bought, Let not such labour come to naught.

Just Judge of recompense, I pray, Cancel my debt, too great to pay, Before the last accounting day.

My groans a culprit’s heart declare, My cheeks shame’s burning livery wear, Spare me, O God, Thy suppliant spare!

As Thou didst Mary’s sin efface, And take the thief to Thine embrace, So dost Thou give me hope of grace.

Though all unworthy be my cry, Give grace, O gracious Lord, or I Shall burn in fires that never die.

Grant me among Thy sheep to stand; From outcast goats my soul diband, And raise me to Thine own right hand.

When cursed foes are put to shame, And given o’er to biting flame, Ah! with Thy blessed call my name.

Prostrate, my contrite heart I rend; My God, my Father, and my Friend, Do not forsake me in the end.

O day of weeping, day of woe, When rising from his pyre below, The sinner to his Judge shall cry,

‘Spare me, Thou mighty God on high!’ Ah, gentle Jesu, Saviour blest, Grant to them all eternal rest!. Amen.

God help us all.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

44 Responses to Newtown

  1. JessicaHof says:

    Thank you for this moving post, dearest friend. It is one of the many reasons I have nominated you for ‘Blog of 2012′ award – which you can find here http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/thank-you-4/

    • NEO says:

      Hey thanks, Jess, I’ll be along

      • JessicaHof says:

        My pleasure, dearest friend :) x

        • NEO says:

          I’m sure, put me in the spot, again :-)

        • JessicaHof says:

          You’re far too modest :) xx

        • NEO says:

          Perhaps, but then I have much to be modest about. :-) xx

        • JessicaHof says:

          There you go again :) :) xx

        • NEO says:

          Heh :-) :-) xx

          I can’t be too bad though, look who my dearest friend is :-) xx

        • JessicaHof says:

          Well, I confess myself beaten sir :) x

        • NEO says:

          No, you are an exceptional lady, as C and I were just saying, now you quit being so modest, ma’am. :-) x

        • JessicaHof says:

          *blush* x

        • NEO says:

          You’re very fetching with scarlet cheeks. :-) x

        • JessicaHof says:

          *blushes furiously* and rushes to make afternoon tea :)

        • NEO says:

          Ah well, I must wander off to the bank myself but should be back later. :-)

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  4. Re=Print for Jess’s blog: Though we mourn the deaths in Newtown CT consider that between 1973 and 2011 54,560,000 million children were murdered in the US and from 1970 to 2011 the abortions in the England and Wales went from 60,000 to 196,000. Who grieves for them?

    Abortion is the greatest obscenity!

  5. Re-post from Jess’s blog: Here in the US we’ve taken God out of the schools and the secularists/atheists are trying to take Him out of the rest of our lives. We have done away with what’s intrinsically right or wrong. We have banished sin. People ask, “Where was God?” God doesn’t come where he’s not wanted. Europe has banished him absolutely!

    • well said.

  6. Well done, NEO. Nice account and remembrance.

    • NEO says:

      Thank you, SF. Between the Anchoress and a tip from Jess’es top posts it wasn’t all that hard, except to see the screen.

      • Well, a good job on any account, Neo. Superb.

        • NEO says:

          Thank you, I am a modest man but I am also proud of this post.

        • As well you should be. I won’t bust any balloons today I promise you.

        • NEO says:

          Nor I, but the day will come for each of us.

        • Indeed. I suppose Bozo never sees that these corrections are also part of our conversations over at Jess’s. Maybe he just cruises in and out from time to time.

        • NEO says:

          Yes, he’s more than a bit of a drive-by and lob in a grenade type.

        • That’s sort of my take. I have moderated him off of my site, though he is still a follower. Strange, that.

        • NEO says:

          He hasn’t wandered in here yet, I’m sure he will, my patience with him is on the order of C’s, so it might be a short visit.

        • Mine lasted one comment which I erased. I haven’t the patience either. Too old to deal with the mundane.

        • NEO says:

          that may be the explanation for all three of us, after 30+ years of adulthood, I don’t feel a need to tolerate it.

        • Nor I, Neo. I have enough white hairs to exempt me from wasting time that can best be spent doing or saying something more productive.

        • NEO says:

          Quite, I occasionally wish I had some hairs that were not white, and yes, I do value my time.

        • It’s one of the reasons I didn’t post today. I figured there would be some very good reflections and many political reactions to yesterday’s horrors. Just a day to reflect, pray and read. It is easier to comment on the good posts and ignore the poor ones, though I am sure much will need to be said politically in the coming months.

        • NEO says:

          I’m sure of it, the idiots have already started.

        • As we all knew they would. Talk of executive orders against our 2nd Amendment rights have already started.

        • NEO says:

          But of course, and what would they say if one of the teachers had taken him out with only one or two casualties, I’ll be ready to ban guns when they are ready to ban rocks.

        • That is so true.

          The other sadness of the day for us Catholics was that this Evil of the day totally eclipsed one of my favorite Catholic Feast Days – the Feast of St. John of the Cross — probably the most important Doctor of Mystical Theology the world has ever known. It is almost as if Satan had planned it that way.

        • NEO says:

          Could well be, my friend.

  7. mstrmac711 says:

    Just finished writing and it is strange how similar the thoughts are. God Bless you and your family my friend. The Angels Came Down

    • NEO says:

      I think it is combination of sorrow and experience, Mac. Bless you and yours as well. The Angels did indeed.

  8. Very thoughtful post, Nebraska. Evil is rampant in our world today. No sort of mental illness, no weapons can be blamed. One very tiny light–as much as our society and morals have broken down, at least we are still horrified. Because as you point out so well, there is horror every day that most are not horrified about.

    • NEO says:

      That is a good point, we are still horrified.

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