Thursday, August 25, 2011

Too Real

Today is 'Pretty Happy Funny Real' at Like Mother Like Daughter. I was going to post something pretty and funny and happy. Really I was. But last night, I was informed that both of my college classes were cancelled (and most of the classes in my department) and so I am officially unemployed outside of the home for this semester. Any kind of financial challenge makes me panic a bit. Yes, I am going to put my anxiety at God's altar, soak more beans, ask for partial scholarships for the kids' activities and turn off the lights. We are so blessed in many ways; it will be okay.

After I got laid off last night, priest-husband told me about something far worse, a real tragedy. The 24-year old nephew of a parishioner was closing up at a burger place where he worked. A co-worker knocked on the front door, and he let him in along with two friends. The trio proceeded to rob the place and killed the three people in the restaurant including the nephew, Jesse. Now our parishioner is planning how to get across the country in time for the funeral.

Why do bad things happen to good people? I have never been very good at answering that question. I usually never say much of anything to someone who has experienced loss. I just make a meal and sit there with them if they'll let me. I do 'buy into' the Catholic notion of redemptive suffering, but I think that comes a long time after the initial shock of a loss. So all I can contribute is the words of comfort brought by the Church:

O God of spirits, and of all flesh, You have trampled death and made the devil powerless, and have given life to Your world. May You, Yourself, Lord, give rest to the soul of Your servant who has fallen asleep, in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose; where all suffering, sorrow, and sighing have fled away.
Since You are a good and loving God, pardon every transgression which he has committed, whether by word, or deed, or thought; for there is no one who lives yet does not sin, for only You are without sin. Your righteousness is an eternal righteousness, and Your word is truth.
For You are the resurrection, the life, and the repose of your servant who has fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and to You we give glory, together with Your Father, Who is without beginning, and Your most holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

May He Who rose from the dead, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His most pure mother, of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable apostles, of our pious and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, place the soul of His departed servant in the mansions of the righteous. May He grant him repose in the bosom of Abraham and number him with the righteous; and may He have mercy on us, for He is good and loves mankind.


  1. Please pray for Jesse and his family and his unborn baby

  2. I am so sorry about your job loss. And it is truly horrible about what happened to the young man.

  3. Just prayed. So sad. Praying for your parishioners too. Also, I will add you to my prayers tonight. My husband has always had a side job teaching at our local community college. For whatever reason, they didn't offer a class this semester. We don't know why but we really are trusting that this is God's plan since the extra money always comes in handy since I don't work outside of the home.

  4. thanks jen- he has been dead less than 24 hours, but they have already arrested two people- fellow employees that used his trust to get him to open the door. I guess they killed him after robbing the place because he could tell the police. It is unbelieveable- the love of money really IS the root of evil

  5. How sad. I too have a difficult time explaining loss. I once explained to the junior high group that while I don't understand God's plans nor do I think he intends evil, somehow something good comes out of the whole mess. My example was the Holocaust. Horrible thing. Words don't accurately describe it's sinister nature. But because of the nasty experiments, we know what people's blood types are (and a number of other things). Thus millions of lives have been saved through blood typing and donation. One could argue that we would have figured it out on our own, but God in his good nature took something awful and evil and brought some good from it.

    So too do I hope some glimmer of good comes for Jesse and his family. And hopefully the burger joint he worked at will revise their policies about closing up. I'm hopeful even though it's tragic. And I cling to this hopefulness. We all need to.

  6. I think your parishioner is heading my way. We had a double murder at Krystals :( The other man killed was the husband of a friend's piano teacher.

  7. Sigh. Too real indeed. This post made me tear up, and that was BEFORE I saw what happened to the nephew of your parishioner. Of course, that saddened me as well. Anything involving what my own house is going through right now is just too close for me (and in a way, Jesse's death is a reminder of the violence that touched my life w/ DH's accident & near death). I don't know why bad things happen to good people, and I've read the book! I know everything happens for a reason, it would be nice to know what that reason is, even just a little bit. Like "You got laid off because you're going to get a even better job just don't know what it is or when it will be." That type of thing--would be easier to deal with all of these uncertainties in life that matter. :( I'll be praying for you all.

  8. I'm sorry to hear about your job loss and I'll keep your parishioner and all those involved in the murder/robbery in my prayers.


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