Holy Mother Church teaches:
324 The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil. Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil, by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal life.
I accept this as Truth. I believe it. I proclaim it. I defend it unto death.
Today, my proclamation requires an intention act of my will.
I am angry. I am angry and I am sad and I am so very, very tired of the ugliness of life. I am tired of the short-sighted Facebook Memes, tired of the rantings and ravings on both sides of the political spectrum. I am tired of good cops being shamed for doing the right thing and I am tired of people pretending that racism is not a real and prevalent evil in this society.
Most of all, however, I am sad. I am sad that 9 good people lost their lives because someone did not like the color of their skin. I am sickened that anyone would use this tragedy as a way to gain the upper hand politically. I am exhausted by the rhetoric and I wonder if what it takes to get the ridiculous stuff (like Bruce Jenner in women's underwear) off the front page is a manifestation of evil in the form of a 21 year old man with a gun.
The people who died did not die because they are Norwegians. They died because they are Black Americans. The fact that they were gathered together for prayer did not spare them from the evil that was to be perpetrated upon them and that is what so many of us struggle with today. It is a question as old as mankind and can be summed up in one word: why?
Okay, Okay - maybe it is a simple as mental illness but I have to tell you I am getting a little tired of that whole thing too. A grown up made a decision to pray with a group of people, go to his car and get a loaded firearm and then tell them that because members of their race behave badly he has to kill them. He reloaded. He had a motive he later admitted to - he wanted to start a race war - and he murdered nine people methodically and coldly.
Maybe...but at some point I want decisions to reap appropriate consequences and this man made an evil decision. I want him to pay for it. I want revenge....and I don't think that is the right attitude to have as a Catholic.
The Church teaches that God permits acts of moral evil so that great good can be drawn from them. I can only see one good coming forth from this so far: Christians are struggling to be Christians in the wake of this horror. Rather than deny our theology, the survivors are telling the perpetrator that the forgive him. They are doing so in open court and in front of the entire world, with the media watching and reporting.
They are living the Way...and doing it with grace and dignity and out loud for the world to see and hear....they are better at it than I am because I am struggling with my anger towards this man.
Perhaps this is why God allows some people to suffer more than others - those that do and can do it with the type of strength and Faith demonstrated by the families of the victims do more to promote our Love for Christ than I ever can. I fear that if I was called to be the witness they have been called to be I would be a miserable failure. What the world would see is a vengeful, angry woman calling for the blood of the man who killed her loved ones.
There will never be a stronger testimony to the strength of believing in Jesus Christ than the behavior of these men and women who mourn their families and friends today. Perhaps what I must take from this is hope - hope that their reaction to Evil will serve as an example to all who watch them.
Because you know what?
They are serving as an example to me - and now it is my job to make them proud to call me a Christian.
Eternal Rest grant unto them O Lord, and may Perpetual Light Shine upon them. May their souls, and the souls of all the Faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in Peace.