Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27: Tragedy, Saint Peter Armengol, Hope

Peter Armengol was a thirteenth-century holy man, although he didn't start out so holy.  As a young man, he roamed with a group of "bandits" who pillaged and robbed travelers.  One day, the bandits encountered Peter's father on the road, intending to "plunder" him.  Peter, in a fit or remorse, begged for his father's forgiveness and from then on devoted himself to penance and "mortifications."  At one point in his life, Peter saved the lives of 18 boys who were being held hostage.  Peter offered himself up in exchange for their release.  The story goes, "Shortly thereafter he was hanged but when his body was taken down, he was discovered to still be alive."

This afternoon, my best friend found out that the mother of her son's girlfriend committed suicide today.  From what I know, the mother suffered from bipolar disorder and had been unstable for a long time.  The mother hanged herself.  One of her children found her.

Moments like these leave me speechless.  I have no idea what to say in the face of a tragedy like this.  The mother left behind two children, including a son who's in the eighth grade.  Unlike the story of Peter Armengol, there's no miracle coming in this situation.  There's just a lot of pain, confusion, and anger.  I've been through a similar experience with my wife's family, and there is no quick and easy fix.  There's just a long process of healing, of turning back to hope.  Right now, I know hope seems as distant as Christmas day.

I guess I'm writing this to ask you to pray for this family, for my friend and her son.  Sometimes it's is all you have. 

Join Saint Marty in prayer tonight.  Pray for solace.  Pray for healing.  Pray for hope.

Sometimes it's all you have
Saint Marty promises a poem tomorrow.

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