I've not had the best week. I am sure everything will work out okay, but it's been one of those weeks. It's easy to see what you lack rather than what you have. So, that was the mind I had entering into mass today, thinking about what I lacked when a friend ruined my week still further by telling me that some very nice people in our town lost their 4-month-old baby last night to SIDs. My heart hurt for them, and it was one more thing to feel bad about. Great.
After a while I started to look around and see so many beautiful children around me. If losing them is so terrible, having them must be so great then, since evil is the absence of a good (privatio boni, said Augustine). Do we celebrate life, really? Communion time: you see new life everywhere, wonderful families, lovely young people, kind-hearted old people, wonderful families of all ages. I look at my children, all gifts; the beautiful Afelskie baby and kids in front of me, stacking up hymnals; the new-born held by her so-proud grandmother, Karen; my goofy teenage son meandering up the aisle; the Schingten boys being, well, boys; Scott carrying his wriggling young one to the bathroom; little Bethany slyly spying out my daughter...
We are all going to pray for and offer whatever comfort we can to the parents who lost their baby. We are a small town of people trying to be Christians. If we have anything it is Christ, whom we try to offer out as much as we can to those in need.
Life can look pretty empty sometimes. But the empty spots are not much more than the spaces between the atoms that make up the wonderful superstructure that we call life.