Thought For The Week
'Out of this Berkeley tragedy we learn from the life of our young people what the things are that remain, not just after this tragedy, but the things that remain deep in every human heart and which we treasure. We treasure them in our hearts where words are secondary and goodness and caring and love are the life blood.' ~Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
June 2015 will always be remembered for the Berkeley tragedy. It was a story that dominated every news headline. It deeply touched and moved so many people as the story unfolded each day. So many moving and beautiful tributes have been written and spoken about Ashley, Eimear, Eoghan, Lorcan, Niccolai and Olivia. Like anyone else following the Berkeley tragedy over the past two weeks there are a few things that stand out. The first is how the tragedy was a huge reminder just how fragile life can be. We often can be moaning and complaining about silly stuff. The Berkeley tragedy helped us all to gain huge perspective on life. What we were moaning and grumbling about might have seemed to be the most important thing in the world. But it looked silly and almost foolish when compared to what happened in Berkeley.
The next thing that stood out from the tragedy was the importance of prayer and the opportunity for people and communities to get the chance to express something deep within. There are some who say that prayer is not their thing or that they find it difficult to do it at the best of times. But when we are faced with pain, tragedy and suffering, prayer can become such an important bridge to help us through and to help us make sense of what can't be explained. Our local parish church can become such an important space for a community to express their grief.
The Berkeley tragedy also reminded us how we as Irish people grieve well and do everything that seems just right in the moment. We seem to know intuitively that often there simply are no words of comfort. But we express what we want to say through ritual, by attending a removal or the funeral Mass, by a hug, by chatting over a cup of tea, by offering our help with things that need to get done, by sending a card and sometimes just standing quietly in silence to be there for the bereaved family. We continue our prayers for everyone involved in the Berkeley tragedy.