Today is September 15th, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and this marks two years since the accident that killed two seminarians, Matty Molnar & Jared Cheek, and irrevocably changed the lives of two other seminarians, Rob Spaulding & Mark Rowland.
In the face of terrible things that happen, my response – the human response, I think – is to try to fill the void left behind. Our sorrow, our anger and our guilt are only further frustrated by the terrible fact that nothing can replace the good that is lost. We can’t undo the Fall from grace, and we can’t raise the dead.
One of the corporeal works of mercy to comfort the sorrowing. For anyone who has suffered any loss (and who in this world hasn’t), there is the eventual realization that it isn’t the end in itself. In our sharing of our sorrows, new and different joys are forged and strengthened. (“O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!”) We still suffer and what we’ve lost is still out of reach, but something good comes out of that suffering. There is grace to be found in suffering shared. Maybe that is the real purpose and the real blessing of sorrow.
Too often we turn from sorrow to anger & guilt; sometimes we embrace one or the other, sometimes we alternate. Usually we grab at both. Anger prompted Moses to lose sight of God even after seeing Him face-to-face on Mount Sinai. Guilt drove Peter from Jesus’ sight after he denied Him three times. But each of them reconciled with the Lord after they strayed and both became two of the greatest leaders of God’s chosen people. We’re never far from the Lord.
As you pray for the repose of the souls of Matty & Jared, please also pray for their families & their friends. Pray for their parents. Pray for Rob. Pray for Mark. Rest assured that Matty & Jared are interceding for them and for us at the throne of God.