Friday, April 19, 2013

"(Prayer) is one way I can help (back home in Boston)"

I couldn’t wrap my head around what happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday. I heard the word explosion, and I think I assumed it was some type of mechanical issue. Not something planned. Not something designed to harm. Not something evil.

The more I read, the more I saw, the more sadness and confusion I felt. I reached out to those I knew were there running, watching, or working. After a long day of uncertainty, I found out those I know were okay. Undoubtedly shaken, but okay.

As the day went on, I began to hear more stories of the day’s positive moments.

And that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on. Not the violence. Not the chaos. Not the terror. Not the bad, but the good.

All goodness is a gift, and perhaps this gift holds the greatest weight in the face of a tragedy like this. Because even when our own brokenness results in events such as these, God provides the good.
He provides the good in the form of the first responders and all those lending a hand on the ground.

He provides the good in the form of the city residents who opened their homes to runners whose hotels were shut down. He provides the good in the form of generous financial contributions to the cause.

He provides the good in the form of doctors and nurses caring for the wounded. He provides the good in the form of the marathon runners who continued to run past the finish line to give blood.

He provides the good in the form of the faithful around the world offering their prayers. He provides the good in the form of a community of college Catholics coming together for a vigil, to offer prayers and comfort those among them who claim Boston as their home.

And yes, He provides the good in the form of the New York Yankees, as well as teams from around Major League Baseball, playing “Sweet Caroline” during the third inning of Tuesday night’s game to stand in solidarity with the Boston Red Sox.

I think perhaps what I have been struggling with in the aftermath of Monday’s events is the feeling of helplessness. I want so badly to be back home, helping in whatever way I can.

But, it is through God’s grace that I’ve come to realize how crucial the power of prayer is in these situations.

This is one way I can help.

Because in praying, I am uniting my own suffering to that of all those affected, in ways large and small, by this tragedy, which in turn is united to Christ’s suffering on the cross.

Prayer is one of the ways God provides us with His grace. While it may not eliminate suffering, the endurance prayer supplies is surely one of God’s greatest gifts. It allows us to carry on. It allows the good God wills from suffering to come about.

In times like these, we must give greater thought and belief to the power of God’s love than to the power of our own weakness, as Mother Teresa once said.

“Boston is a resilient city, as are its people.”

This refrain has been repeated time and again the past few days.

I believe through prayer, God will supply us with the grace to stand united in the midst of suffering and tragedy, the grace to recognize the power of His love, the grace to remain Boston strong.

Kara Dunford
GW Catholic
Class of 2013
Quincy, Massachusetts

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