From a drunk-driving tragedy, lessons in forgiveness
Imagine what it took for the parents of the young man charged in the drunken-driving accident that killed Sister Denise Mosier on Sunday to go to the monastery where the nun lived to offer their personal apologies. Imagine what it took for the women who knew and loved Sister Denise to, without hesitation, grant forgiveness. “We wanted to let them know we hold no grudges,” Sister Andrea Verchuck, the sub-prioress, later recalled. The encounter, beautifully captured in a Page One story in today’s Washington Post, is a lesson in kindness and human understanding. And it is one that is sorely needed in these ugly political times.
Indeed, I couldn’t help but contrast the remarkable grace shown by the parents of Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano and Sister Verchuck with the sad behavior that is too often displayed in this country. Behavior such as that of conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who still hasn’t brought himself to apologize to Shirley Sherrod for unfairly casting her as racist and igniting a controversy that cost her her job. Then I wondered if Sherrod might herself, who has talked about suing Breitbart, could learn something from the good sisters about holding grudges and trying to move on.
What occurred at that Prince William County monastery reminded me of the beauty that followed a different sort of tragedy a few years ago. After a gunman opened fire in a one-room Pennsylvania schoolhouse in October 2006, killing five young girls, a traumatized Amish community embraced the shooter’s widow. People do awful things and other people get hurt. How we deal with the aftermath is what defines our humanity.
| August 4, 2010; 4:13 PM ET
Categories: Armao | Tags: Jo-Ann Armao
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