Minute Meditations


God Sends Us Where We're Needed

“God is not an obligation or a burden. God is the joy of my life!” —Fr. Mychal Judge

On the bright fall morning of September 11, 2001, firefighters across New York were summoned to a scene of unimaginable horror: Two hijacked airliners had crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. As firefighters rushed into the burning buildings, they were accompanied by their chaplain, Fr. Mychal Judge. Hundreds of them would die that day, among the nearly three thousand fatalities in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Fr. Judge would be among them. There seemed to be special meaning in the fact that Fr. Mychal was listed as the first certified casualty of 9/11. A photograph of his fellow firemen carrying his body from the wreckage to a neighboring church became an icon of that day: an image of loving service and sacrifice, a hopeful answer to messages born of fear and fanaticism.

—from The Franciscan Saints by Robert Ellsberg

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Where Is God in Human Suffering?

The book of Job reminds us that good people are vulnerable to suffering. The September 11 terrorist attacks tell us that our lives are contingent and finite; we may go to work one morning and never return. While we live in an age of terrorism, we have emerged from one of the bloodiest centuries of history. Where is God in all of this human suffering? Is God indifferent to human suffering? How about the suffering of the earth, the pillaging and stripping of natural resources? Is this of concern to God? Like the challenges of the new science today, the questions of suffering are broad and not easily addressed. However, looking at the question of suffering from the view of God’s humble love may give us a better insight as to how God relates to a world of suffering. Bonaventure’s profound emphasis on the crucified Christ indicates to us that God is no  stranger to suffering and, indeed, the cross is the hope of new life in God.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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