The following is a letter I wrote to Samuel G. Freedman, author of “Amid the Ashes, a Statue of Mary Stands as a Symbol of Survival,” (New York Times, 16 Nov 2012). See also my previous post Et ventis et mari.
I want to thank you for your recent piece about the Madonna at Breezy Point. Though brief, the article’s clarity presents a brilliant and sublime event now happening amid the chaos of distaster and loss. Most remarkably, you have hinted to the fact that men and women of faith, particular of Catholic Christian faith, of which I am a part, can make pilgrimage to this site of hope, carry with them their prayers and tears, and so commend the souls of those who are lost to the grave (or even unburied, as in the case of some in Hurricane Sandy and 11 Sept 2001) to God in Heaven. Such a focal point, a place of pilgrimage, is necessary for lives to be lived and to be made intelligible in the blood-soaked world in which we all find ourselves today; that though we have been “crushed” we are “not abandoned.”
Thank you again,