I talk to parents and to children, and they don’t know where to turn. They’re so frightened. They’re standing in front of the mystery and are suddenly asking themselves what they can do – they call it bargaining with God, but I think it’s much deeper than that. It’s realizing that you haven’t been busy about the truest things; that you are facing chaos and destruction because you don’t have true order in your life. I say, “You’re right to tremble. You’re right to tremble in front of this vastness that you have no control over. It has shown you your nothingness, and you are right to tremble.
“Your Father in heaven has not left it at that, however. Where your knees grow weak and shake, He has reached out His hand. Out of this swirling, chaotic vortex, He has stretched forth His hand of flesh and blood.” At that point I usually reach out my hand – I hope with great sincerity, not trying to make an impression. I say tons of prayers that I don’t say things to make an impression. You learn what has an effect and what doesn’t, what words produce what results, but I swear I pray every day that I never speak a word because it’s effective but only because it expresses the truth I’ve encountered. I pray it comes from the wounds that God has placed in my heart. I pray for that.
I say, “He has come with flesh and blood so that you will know it is not chaos. It is a love greater than you know, and that’s why it looks like chaos. It’s just bigger than you, but He has reached His hand out in flesh and blood through His Son to tell you that this is not against you – this is for love, and you can become worthy of this love by accepting it, accepting Him, and accepting to walk this path. Do it because you trust Him and because there is no fear between you. This chaos is really your experience of love. I promise you this is true because it is true, and I see it happen every day!”
People’s eyes truly do turn from fear to tears to gratitude, every day, because someone prayed with them. What a powerful thing, to get on your knees and pray!
Fr. Vincent Nagle on his experience as a chaplain from “Life Promises Life” p. 100-101