Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apocalypse Now? Well, maybe.

Okay, so it doesn't feel like the end of the world. At least not the way Jesus presented it (i.e. unmistakeable) (oh, and He plays a Very Big Role). But there have been rather apocalyptic goings on of late. Over in Newtown, CT, the scene of so much horror and heartbreak already, the parish priests are being besieged with threats (starting with the bomb scare during the noon Mass on Sunday). The younger of the two, ordained just two years, had his identity stolen. And to top it all off, the diocese doesn't even have a bishop right now, so there's no fatherly, brotherly support "from the top" either.

Oh, and Christmas is in five days.

What gives?

Actually, I'm not finding the personal threats against the priests all that surprising.

On the one hand, the events of last week seemed to have roused all the "wannabe" mass murderers, who, having failed to carry out a newsworthy act of violence, are attempting to hitch a ride on this one. But there's more to it than that, I think. The manifestations of hate can also be seen, in a way, as anti-sacramental signs that "contain and bestow" hostility. After all, we do have an enemy. And chaos serves this enemy's purpose just as much as reconciliation and hope thwart it.

The untold good news from Newtown is precisely that "where sin abounded," peace and hope and prayer "abound yet more" in a parish Church that has not been empty since the troubles began. And boy, does the enemy know it.

So add one or two more envelopes to that stack of Christmas cards you know you haven't finished writing yet. And send not just a promise of prayers, but a "report" of prayers already offered for them--Rosaries, Holy Hours, quarter-hours spent reading the Gospels, chaplets of Divine Mercy and St. Michael--to the parish priests of Newtown. You'll be sharing in the good, and bolstering the spirits of two men who have borne and still bear for their people a sorrowful burden we cannot begin to imagine.

Father Luke Suarez
46 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470

Msgr. Robert Weiss 
46 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470

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