One of the best homilies I ever heard at Mass was given by Father Griswold at St. Mary's church in Colts Neck, N.J. on the Sunday after the horrible shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. Instead of standing at the pulpit, Father Griswold asked all the children to come up to the front and sit around him.
Then he read a children's picture book, Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney.
The children listened attentively to the beautiful story and a sense of calm fell over everyone. As an early childhood educator, I have always appreciated picture books for their simple, but focused messages. In the wake of the Columbine tragedy, the story of Miss Rumphius transcended the horror and offered a positive path.
Since Columbine, our country has gone through too many mass shootings. Still, like Miss Rumphius in the story, all of us can do something to make the world more beautiful. We just have to give it some thought.