Mercy Mondays: Chaplain’s Corner – Death and light during Lent
The experience of death is always disturbing, but the death of a young person in the prime of life is overwhelming in its effects; it raises unanswerable questions, it challenges the very meaning and purpose of life, and it taxes our faith.
The sudden and tragic death of Devin Hamilton, a senior at Salve Regina, has stunned and shocked the entire family at Salve Regina. Our hearts go out to his parents, siblings, and family during this extremely difficult time.
We all have had experienced moments of black out when we are in the midst of watching Netflix and the tv goes off, listening to the radio and it goes silent, the elevator jerks to a halt, and worst of all the lights go out and we are plunged into darkness. Naturally we are upset and scared at times. We look for someone or something to blame for the black out. So what do we do naturally? We search for a light: a flashlight, a candle, a flame or even the light from our cell phone. Then what happens? The fear goes away, and we aren’t so angry or upset.
A sudden death can very much be like a blackout. One moment the sun is shining brightly and the next we thrown into what we consider to be an impenetrable darkness. So just like an electrical blackout we need to search for the light that conquers darkness – Jesus Christ. Many times, we tend to question why? Sometimes we can blame it on human illness or sickness. Sometimes we just don’t know the answer, but what we can be certain is that God never wills evil, ever.
During the season of Lent, we are asked to focus on the light of Christ that comes to us in a new way at Easter. The Church teaches that the season of Lent is a time of Hope. At liturgical celebrations, the color violet is used in order to express and symbolize that hope that Christ has conquered death and has prepared a dwelling place for each one of us in his Father’s house in heaven (John 14:1-6). Today, we need to lean on this hope that is presently await in this liturgical season.
This Lent has become a bit darker due to the loss of a beloved Salve Regina student. This tragic passing doesn’t negate the greatness of the light that we await at Easter. Just as Christ’s disciples encountered darkness after his death during an eclipse of the sun, so too are we called to follow in their footsteps. After Christ’s death, the disciples went to Jesus and the Good News of the Resurrection was announced to the them! “He is not here, he is risen!” (Matt 28:6)
My prayer for our Salve Regina family is that we can allow hope to grow in our hearts. Let’s pray that when we reach the great feast of Easter, we are comforted by the true light of Christ which comes to conquer all darkness.
Written by Rev. Scott J. Pontes, University Chaplain
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.