Monday, May 2, 2011

A Few Words About Bin Laden's Death

A few thoughts. A few feelings.
When I first heard the news about bin Laden being killed, I was shocked.
As more details became known, I felt relief. He cannot kill anyone any more.
Then pride. Americans never give up, I thought.
Then I felt sick. How can I, as a Christian, be happy about someone being killed? I am pro life, after all.
Then tears. Sadness. I had no idea I still felt this sad 10 years later. I remember 9-11 like it happened yesterday. And I also remember the news videos of people in some Arab countries, dancing in the streets, celebrating 9-11. And I remember hoping I would never be like that, that I would never rejoice like that over someone's death. That I would never celebrate the taking of a human life.
I am still going through all of these feelings. They flicker through me like a slide show. But Father James Martin, SJ in his column in the weekly magazine, America, helped me put it all into some perspective -
"I am glad he (bin Laden) has left the world. And I pray that his departure may lead to peace. But as a Christian, I am asked to pray for him and, ultimately, to forgive him. And that command comes to us from Jesus, a man who was beaten, tortured and killed. That command comes from a man who knows a great deal about suffering. It also comes from God." 
Fr. Martin also reminds us of Pope John Paul II visiting the man who tried to kill him and forgiving him.
Tough world we live in. Hard to know how to feel or what to think. All I can do is pray and hope God helps me figure it all out. 
And that He helps us all heal.
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15 comments :

RomanCatholic Deacon said...

Nice post Colleen. It sums up how many of us feel but don't know how to express it. I especially liked the quote from Fr. Martin. The thoughts running through my mind today have been Jesus' words: "Love your enemies." I always said we don't have to like them, just love them! So we pray for God's Divine Mercy on all sinners including myself!
Blessings+
Deacon John

Colleen said...

John, Amen!! Thank you for your supportive words and I agree with you about Fr Martin's quote.

Mike Golch said...

I rejoyced that he has been killed,for JUSTICE has been served for all those that lost their lives in the 9/11/01 attack on the United States that he orchestrated. am I sad that that evil man is dead No,does that mean that I am a bad person again No.

Colleen said...

Mike, I understand your feelings. I am not sad that he is dead either. Like Father Martin said, I am glad he has left the world and cannot spread his evil any more. No, you are not a bad person. Thanks for adding to this discussion!

Deanna said...

amen....

Colleen said...

Deanna, thank you.

Spiro said...

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Colleen said...

Thank you, son. I do not think I have ever read that quote before. But I love it and will never forget it. It is perfect and helps me more than anything else I have read. Love you. xxoo

Jade said...

Powerful words. They put so many feelings into words for me, things I had not fully thought out or understood. As a Christian, may we love and protect others.

Jean Wise said...

You expressed exactly the mixture of feelings I have. The quote is perfect too. well done, Colleen.

Spiro said...

Nice post. How easy it is to just be angry and hateful when in reality this does nothing to be a better person.

evanscove said...

Like you and probably just about every other American Christian, I feel torn about bin Laden's death. Yes, he deserved to die--and years before now! (And I'm sure he's not in Paradise with 70 virgins as he doubtless expected to be!) Part of me wants to gloat, though his death may not really amount to much in the grand scheme of our efforts to combat terrorism. But as you and so many others point out, we are commanded to love and forgive our enemies, no matter how much we may not want to. May God give me the grace to forgive...

Evan

Colleen said...

Jade, amen.

Jean, thank you. That quote from Father Martin? Excellent. Hard to express what we feel sometimes isnt it?

son (#2), thank you! Love you!

Evan, it is hard to deal with these torn feelings and to make sense of them. That is why you are so right to pray for God's grace! Exactly what we need! We can only forgive with His graces! God bless!

Kathleen@so much to say said...

So many of us have struggled with how to react to this! What good emotion can come of this, really?

Colleen said...

Kathleen, very true!