Springtime in Our Hearts
Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends of Fordham,
Here in Manhattan the sleeping gift to the city has awakened: Central Park is in full bloom again. On a warm day, the joggers, walkers, cyclists, ball players, music lovers, tourists, and even the nannies with strollers have all returned to enjoy the feeling of springtime, of life renewed and hopes reborn. It is the season of graduations and reunions, of First Holy Communions, baptisms, and June weddings. It is a time to celebrate the simple but awesome facts of being alive and of life renewed. For Christians it is also a time to ponder the Easter event of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and in so doing be assured of our promised risen life.
And yet—here at home and in many places throughout the world—terrorist acts and other acts of violence scorn the value of human life. In the Old Testament, Moses proclaims to the people, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses” (Deuteronomy 30:19). In our day, too many choose death. Whether on the sidewalks of Times Square or at a concert in Manchester, England, the taking of innocent life is a heart-wrenching, painful horror. These two perspectives cannot be reconciled; enjoying life is so far from choosing death, and choosing death is so far from enjoying life. Life is precious, but fragile; murder is capricious, but also a reality. Our hearts can be gentle or hard as stone.
In this season and always, let us choose life. Let us strive to bring the gifts of springtime into our hearts, to nurture the beauty and joy of life in all its manifestations. Let us take to heart the words of St. Francis of Assisi. They are as true today as when they were first written:
“You must have peace in your hearts. Let no one be provoked to anger or scandal by you, but may they be drawn to peace and good will, to kindness and concord through your gentleness. We have been called to heal wounds, to bring together what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”
I wish all of you a peaceful heart. I hope you all have a peaceful springtime and summer filled with joy and gratitude for life. I keep you in my prayer.
Father Dan Gatti, S.J., JES ’65, GSE ‘66