As I watch the media unfold about Osama bin Laden’s death, I realize there are conflicting emotions inside of me. Certainly, I want to avoid any polemics over whether or not it was right to kill Osama bin Laden. I also want to avoid critiquing the vague and ambiguous terms in president Obama’s speech: Justice and Freedom. I want to extend my deep gratitude for all of the soldiers who are fighting for our freedom-especially Michael Lorenz and Mario Perez. One last note, I did not lose any loved ones because of Osama, therefore, I have a great deal of difficulty even feeling like I have a right to talk about this subject.
I'm not exactly happy or excited that bin Laden is dead. My emotions are similar to what I feel after a very unpleasant task is done: a sort of relief. I am feeling uneasy about all of the celebration and rejoicing going on. For example, when I was walking back to my dorm room, I heard the jeers and cheers of my fellow college peers rejoicing at his death, “Eat that bin Laden.”It was hard for me to join in that triumphant and euphoric praise. For me, there was something disturbing about celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday (the tender compassion of God) and celebrating the death of a human being. For Catholics, I think it is important to remember that Divine Mercy Sunday is a testament of God’s tremendous love and mercy for all of humanity. Without a doubt, Osama committed much evil. He cultivated a society of hatred, massacred innocent people, and caused one of the deepest and darkest wounds in American history- 9/11. On the other hand, as Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican Spokesman: “Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of each and every one of us before God and before man, and hopes and commits himself so that no event be an opportunity for further growth of hatred, but for peace.” I believe as Christians, we must continue to foster a spirit of reflection and consideration.
Moreover, I am afraid this event will turn Catholic Americans to American Catholics. I am afraid this event will spawn a “you deserved it “or an “eye for an eye-tooth for a tooth” mentality. Simply put, such a spirit of rancorous and bitterness is not Catholic. We belong to a loving God that extends mercy to all of humanity. We pledge allegiance to a higher authority and a much greater Kingdom-Jesus Christ! I think it is important to remember that being a Christian is our only nationality, language and culture. At the end of the day, it is the only that thing that matters!
Thus, it’s interesting that Bin Laden was killed on Divine Mercy Sunday. Was this a way of God challenging Catholics to remain in a spirit of repentance and mercy? As Michael Denton said, “God’s mercy and love has no exceptions; as Christians our mercy and love are to have no exceptions”. Hence, Jesus told St. Faustina, “Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy (Diary of St. Faustina, 1146).”Let us pray that we may given the grace to continue to promote the message of peace and life to all nations. Let us fellow Blessed John Paul II when he forgave his assassin. Let us also pray that bin Laden accepted the mercy of God at the time of his death. Besides we pray for people like him in our daily Rosary, “Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all of those to heaven, especially for those in most need of thy mercy.”