Holy Innocents

I know a man who is a professed atheist. His atheism arose from his exposure to unspeakable evils perpetrated against children, and from his inability to reconcile what he saw with what he understands to be “God.”

He is also a man of extraordinary character and integrity, who genuinely seeks truth and has not rejected God out of a self-indulgent ideology or an arrogant refusal to be open to truth.

This feast today opens for us that mysterious truth that, even when the innocence of childhood is violated, God is not absent, but remains near. God weeps in the grief-stricken mothers, dies in the slain Innocents, and, himself a Child, cries out to his Father with needful tears that He recreate this fallen world that has grown old in sin.

I pray that this atheist will one day see that his deepest outrage over such unspeakable injustice is shared by God, the God who subjected his own innocence to our guilty malice that He might heal us and restore our lost innocence.

Someone who declares himself as being an atheist can be, potentially, much closer to God than I who appear to be, and I’m God’s representative. The borders between good and evil are found in our heart. It depends from which one our heart takes its force from each time.

– Anastasios, Archbishop of Tirana, Durrës

This entry was posted in Liturgy.

6 comments on “Holy Innocents

  1. WhoopieCushion says:

    This was the beautifully-horrific truth I was needing to receive and share when I read the gospel and was thinking almost in sarcasm, “Why didn’t God ‘do something’ more than just send an angel to Joseph?” Thank you–you’ve helped me to see he’s ‘done’ everything in ‘being’ our Innocent Redeemer!

  2. Let us try to remember on this day in particular all the children in our lives. Are we an uplifting presence in their lives? Are we there in times of trouble? Do we protect them in an embrace of prayer? The priest at Mass this morning reminded us that even in infancy, death was chasing the Incarnate Word. The physical death of the children and likely the emotional death of the parents connect the trauma which they must have endured with the brokenness of Our Lady when her Holy Innocent was crucified. Gratefully, our pains can be surrendered to Mary who understands all too well the experience of death. In her loving embrace she directs us to the one who supplies new life and raises us from our earthly suffering and into his glorious abundance.

  3. Thomas the less says:

    Awesome explaination! Thanks for the reflection!

  4. […] I know a man who is a professed atheist. His atheism arose from his exposure to unspeakable evils perpetrated against children, and from his inability to reconcile what he saw Source: Neal Obstat Theological Opining   […]

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