This is not a post I want to write- but violence against Christianity has hit pretty close to home.
I live just across the border from Bonner's Ferry Idaho, and once in a while I go to Mass there at St. Ann's Catholic Church. The priest, Fr. Carlos, is from Columbia, a very nice man and well loved by his parish. Just before Easter, I attended Mass there and was shocked to hear that their church and several of the other churches in that small town had been vandalized. They beefed up their security with their alarm system and hoped that was the end of it.
Last week, Fr. Carlos woke up to the sound of an explosion in the middle of the night- and his beloved church was on fire. The fire department responded quickly but were not able to save the church, although they saved the rectory right next to it. It was so damaged as to be structurally unsafe so they had to knock it down once the arson investigation was done. Yes, arson; there were 3 places that the fire was started. They collected evidence and have a person of interest arrested.
The bell tower next to the entrance to the church was scorched, but still stands.
The apple tree just feet away from the fire still has blossoms, heavy with smoke. Kudos to the fire department for doing a good job, even though the church couldn't be saved.
As I stood there, all I could think of was to pray for the person who was so filled with darkness and hate that he vandalized those churches and destroyed this one. This person is perhaps mentally damaged- from who knows what- but we all know that Satan plays upon people's weaknesses. I pray that some good will come of this. It already has united the Christian community, and I'm sure justice will be done, and insurance will most likely help with the rebuilding of the church, but what of the person who did this? Will his soul be dark forever or will the prayers of this community help to bring some light- the light of Christ - to him? Will he be rebuilt into the light?