Sunday, July 24, 2011


I was about to turn thirteen when I visited Norway with my grandmother, who had concluded that the way to see the world was to grab her grandchildren and go.  What I particularly remember about Norway was the glittering beauty of the fjords, and falling in love with the city of Bergen (pictured).

When you send your children, even your young adult children off to camp (and The Lovely Daughter is at this moment spending her fourth summer as a counselor at the camp of her childhood, and mine), you worry about accidents ~ drownings, climbing falls, bear errors in judgment.  When they are young adults, you worry about human errors in judgment ~ young people on mountain roads after nights off in local bars ~ and, as last year revealed, young people in flip-flops stepping on copperheads stretched out on warm pavement in the night.  I suppose that you don't worry about those things on small Norwegian islands, but there are probably other possibilities.

As my own experience has revealed, you don't worry much about the things that actually come to pass.  A suicide.  A deranged gunman.

I look at the images of those parents, who have to absorb the sudden shock of the deaths of their beloved children, knowing that they died in fear, far from those who love them the most, their futures abruptly curtailed, their presence ripped away, their beautiful shining faces just . . .  gone . . .  and  . . . there are no words.  Their lives are shattered.    Blessed are those who mourn.  Lord, have mercy.  

Are your wonders known in the darkness?


  1. There are no words--of comfort or reason--for a tragedy of this magnitude.

  2. Exactly. I couldn't ignore it in my homily this morning, but most of what I had to say was this, there are no words, only a spirit working to intercede and somehow bring forth Gods love. I have no idea how that can or will happen in these fractured lives and country.

  3. I have not been listening to news much this summer, but turned it on the day this happened. and I heard what was just so amazingly wrong.