Belong in the Fray

Author: Fr. Peter Jarret, C.S.C.


Rev

Spes Unica blog join our nation — and others of goodwill from around the world — in remembering those who lost their lives on that fateful day, including those who laid down their lives to save others.  Like so many others, we also offer our prayers this day for true peace and justice to grow and spread through our world.
 
To help us mark this day, we share with you all a reflection that Fr. Peter Jarret, C.S.C., now Rector of Moreau Seminary, wrote for the book The Cross, Our Only Hope.  Fr. Pete’s niece, Amy, died on September 11 when her plane crashed into the second tower.  In reflecting on his own reaction to the aftermath of September 11, Fr. Pete pulls out a great lesson for us about true discipleship.
 
May we start on this new year with a firm conviction that, having enrolled ourselves and pledged our lives under the glorious standard of the holy Cross, we must, to the last breath, further or check its progress according to how we fight vigorously or cowardly the battle in which we are engaged. – Edward Sorin
 
A few days after 9-11, I was home with my family in Rhode Island.  My niece Amy, a flight attendant on United 175, had been killed when her plane went into the second tower.  Things at home were in frenzy, much of it fueled by incessant media attention.  So I and two of my brothers did what we had often done growing up when we wanted to “escape.”  We got into my brother’s boat and headed off shore.  A few miles out, we turned off the engine and sat bobbing in the waves.  From that distance everything on shore looked peaceful.  One of us remarked how great it would be just to stay out on the ocean forever.  After an hour or so, we looked at each other and knew it was time to go back into the fray.
 
That event reminds me of what God’s call is to each of us regarding our discipleship:  We belong in the fray.  Jesus used to take essential time away for prayer, but He always came down off the mountain.  The first disciples used to go fishing when things got rough, but they always came back ashore to be renewed by Christ’s embrace.  Fr. Sorin, a man who knew much about having to start over when a fire destroyed his life’s work and beloved university, believed that Divine Providence calls us not to be passive observers, keeping pain a safe distance away.  We are, rather, to start each year, each day, with new courage and bold footsteps, fully engaging our hearts and minds in the lives of others because that is what Christ has commissioned us to do.
 

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