Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Vandalism

This beautiful statue of Our Lady of Lourdes is in our churchyard.... at least, it was. On Friday night, vandals climbed up and pushed it over- it weighs about 600 pounds, so they put a lot of effort into their destruction. Here's another view of the whole grotto:
The flat part just below St. Bernadette is used as an altar for outdoor Masses, and one was scheduled for Saturday morning.When we arrived for Mass this morning we were heartsick to see the statue head down and broken. We have no evidence as to the identity of the vandals other than some footprints on the altar section, so we know there were at least two people.
The statue will be sent to Calgary to be repaired, and the grotto looks lonely without Mary there. During Mass, I prayed for the vandals, who are so contemptuous of the Mother of God that  they would deliberately deface her statue. I prayed for Mary's intercession for their conversion. I thought about how some Muslims would react if this were a statue of Mohammed, defaced, and that those who did it would probably be hunted down and killed. And how we, as Catholics, are called to pray for sinners and not to exact retribution of that sort- but I'd sure like to catch them and make them pay for the damage and make a public admission of guilt.
There has been a spree of vandalism in our town lately- senseless acts of violence against objects,  things destroyed just for some warped sense of fun. I worry that this behaviour will escalate into violence against people. Especially if they continue to get away with these acts, and have no retribution, no accounting for their actions, it could easily escalate.
Senseless acts of violence, like the shootings in Aurora, have beginnings such as these.