Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Why, God?

The dreaded question, for a priest. 
For anyone.
At Christmas.

Maureen Dowd cites the wisdom of another priest, called to the side of a friend, at a time of death. Published on Christmas Day in The New York Times, it is an honest statement of human and priestly integrity. You can read it here

The question has special poignancy for me since my dad died at Christmas when I was a child, since Newtown, since the ambush on Christmas Eve. So I too ask this ancient question; 


Why indeed?
Why my dad's death at Christmas,
When I was a boy 8 years old. 
Good Friday when I was a boy.
Why do you call this day "Good"?
To the child in a cattle shed,
Poor and homeless
The unwed mother
The man on the cross.
The empty tomb
The panic
The running away
The abandonment
But for the women
Who went to the tomb
With spices
He is not here
That's the answer?
He is not here?
The Resurrection???
A surprise answer if ever there is one!
I'm afraid my faith must rest on that for a while.
Until my own time
Not the fear,
But the Cheer of the Child
The dreadful courage of the cross
The defeat of death
The final answer?
Until the surprise?

Fr Paul


Ben said...

Father Paul, I found the linked article particularly powerful. Thank you so much for sharing! This particular quote stood out to me:

"I really do believe that God enters the world through us.......We are human and mortal. We will suffer and die. But how we are with one another in that suffering and dying makes all the difference as to whether God’s presence is felt or not and whether we are comforted or not."

We are but vessels for God's work, and our willingness to allow his work to happen through us has so much to do with whether or not we and those around us experience God's presence. What a simple, yet overwhelming responsibility!

"Fr. Paul" Bresnahan said...

Yes. Simple, honest, true, powerful. I thank God for those who are mybCompanions along the way