Sunday, October 08, 2006

God has spoken to His people.

I'm late in commenting on the tragedy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I think this is truly a sign from God, a signal grace*, if you will.

There are people who are quick to see a conspiracy behind every tragedy. There are those who are quick to call for and seek revenge. There are those for whom tragedies (and sometimes occurances much more mild than that) are instant triggers for their own anger--at God, at particular groups of people, at other individuals.

Many of us fall to questioning the meaning behind difficult, painful or unpleasant occurances; sometimes to the point of questioning the existance or mercy of God Himself. God is not limited to merely telling us how we should act as Christians. God is now showing us how to act.

The modern world has been left open-mouthed and dumbfounded over the reaction of the Amish community in Pennsylvania after the deaths of 5 girls there at the hands of a local gunman.

The blog Chesterton and Friends puts it this way, "None are asking for revenge, a governmental investigation, or metal detectors be put up in their schools. They are asking for prayers for the murder’s family and for all who are suffering."

In fact, about half the mourners at the funeral of the gunman were members of the local Amish community. Soon after the shooting, the family of the victims piled in their buggies and paid a visit to the shooters family to express their condolences and forgiveness. While many groups are raising money for the families of the victims, the Amish are raising funds for the gunman's family.

God is now showing us how to act. We, as a country, and as individuals, no longer have any excuse. God has graced us with His Love through these Christians who have indeed turned the other cheek.

*The Rosary Foundation says this about Signal Grace: "Signal Graces are signs sent by God to help us make the right decisions in life. Moses got a burning bush, but signal graces usually come about as subtle hints granted to us by God as a way to point us in the right direction. There really is no such thing as a coincidence; everything happens for a reason."

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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