Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The Finger of God

I'm sure that virtually all readers are still reeling at the horrific events which took place yesterday at Virginia Tech. Such mindless evil is dreadfully hard to contemplate. There are no easy answers to difficult questions.

And yet . . .

And yet . . .

Like we have seen so often before, during times of immense tragedy; amid all the suffering and pain; amid all the questions and the anger -- there are also miracles. There are those who "were supposed to be somewhere, but weren't" -- and later realize that they have been spared. There are those who, in moments of unspeakable horror, act with incredible courage. There are those who "rise to the occasion", when the need is greatest.

We see the Finger of God.

I see the Finger of God in the heroic sacrifice of a professor, who literally blockaded a classroom door with his body -- so that his students could escape. Greater love hath no man.

I see the Finger of God in the presence of an Eagle Scout in one classroom, who was able to render emergency first-aid to those around him -- and was never touched by a bullet.

I see the Finger of God on the life of a young man who decided to have a quick coffee with his girlfriend, rather than rush off. They are both alive today.

I see the Finger of God on the life of a young woman who, although always early, was, for some reason running late.

I see the Finger of God in the very fact that these tragedies are so rare; that this sort of wanton evil remains, for the most part, checked.

It was St. Thomas Aquinas who pointed out that if God wanted to destroy the Universe -- He would not have to do anything -- He would have to STOP doing something. It is His Finger on the pulse of the Universe which keeps everything going.

I grieve with all those who have lost friends and loved ones. I grieve for the loss of life -- and for the loss of innocence. And I am filled with wonder and great gratitude at the little miracles -- those actions by the Finger of God -- which kept this terrible, terrible tragedy from being infinitely worse.

May the souls of the victims -- and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Papa Z

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