Manchester Terror Attack: Light Shines On

Author: Fr Pat Deegan


Manchester Terror Attack: Light Shines On

At 10.30pm on 22 May, a newsflash came through on the radio that an incident had taken place at the MEN Arena in Manchester. My first thought was that this must be a terrorist atrocity similar to the one at the Bataclan in Paris.

As news bulletins confirmed that it was indeed a terrorist incident, my first reaction was one of shock and horror at how anyone could target mostly innocent children in such a brutal and horrific way.

I prayed for God's strength, power and consolation to be with the victims and their families, as well as for the emergency services who dealt with a very traumatic experience.

The response was truly amazing. The police and emergency services put their own lives and safety at risk in order to help the dying, distressed and injured. Also, ordinary people in Manchester, from diverse backgrounds, faiths, cultures and professions put themselves out in many different ways.

I think here of the off-duty NHS doctors and nurses who came in to hospitals to offer their expertise and skills; taxi drivers who gave free rides home to the distressed; people who opened their homes and took in strangers, offering them comfort, food and a bed for the night; people who cooked and brought food and beverages to the local hospitals to feed the beleaguered staff and to on duty policemen. I also think of those who turned up at hospitals to offer pastoral and spiritual support.

I was especially struck by the homeless man who, upon hearing of the atrocity, ran into the MEN Arena to offer help and comfort to a dying victim. The response of these people shows us clearly that good will triumph over evil and that evil itself will never prevail as long as the spirit of good will endures.

It is in the goodness of people who opt to do good in the face of evil that the flame of peace, light and hope shines ever brighter in the darkness.

In conclusion, I believe that God's grace alone can convert the human heart. Jesus is the Light of the world who has come to cast out the darkness of sin. We must fast, pray, and intercede before our God for this to happen.

It is by calling on His mighty help and working with people of good will that the peace, light and hope of God will shine forth in these troubled and dark times

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