February 4-6, 2000
volume 11, no. 25

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    "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

    This weekend Sister brings us the words of Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott who was gunned down at Columbine High School in Denver last year. In addressing politicians and the civic authorities and others in assembly, he didn't point the finger at guns or even the murderers, but rather at the concept that we have lost our soul, that we have turned away from God and the only way to resolve it is to turn back to Him and to return prayer to the schools. Sister shows through his words that the only way for America to survive is not through gun laws and further restrictions, but freedom - freedom to pray to the One Who can and will make a difference as she illustrates in her column this weekend, A father with wisdom.

    Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy by e-mail.

    On Thursday, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. The following is part of his speech. It is tremendous food for thought.
    "We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

        "The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

        "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore, I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder, I would be their strongest opponent. I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.

        "I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today.

      Your laws ignore our deepest needs.
      Your words are empty air.
      You've stripped away our heritage
      You've outlawed simple prayer.

      Now gunshots fill our classrooms
      And precious children die.
      You seek for answers everywhere
      And ask the question "Why?"

      You regulate restrictive laws
      Through legislative creed
      And yet you fail to understand,
      That God is what we need!

    "...We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs, politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.

        "We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key.

        There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched!

        "... We ... need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!

        "As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School - prayer was brought back to our schools."

        "Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God - given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

    I thought this would be appropriate as we complete Catholic Schools Week for though the slain girl's father was talking about public schools, Catholic schools have the right and duty to pray and sadly, many are kowtowing to secular and government funding pressures and even cutting back on that. We can't afford to let that happen. Pray all the harder that students in both Catholic and public schools will be allowed to pray! It's what God wants!

    God bless you, dear reader!


February 4, 2000
volume 11, no. 25

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