PC # 49 – Train Crash – a perspective from Sr Clare

This train crash in Santiago de Compostela has upset Jennifer and myself – and in swapping emails with Sister Clare this evening, I asked her if she could make sense of it for me.

This was her response and I thought, on St. James’ birthday, it was worth posting as a separate blog –

Dear Bill

Trying to find sense in a beautiful world made by God, yet populated with fallable humans can be challenging. There are always things to be learned, though. Perhaps God felt it was time for some of those souls to come home .Certainly some  are now in a place of perfection where there is no more struggle or tears, but only joy and fulfillment.

God doesn’t  cause tragedies like train wrecks or falling towers- these are man made things influenced by man made faults, from inattention to safety, perhaps, all the way to the terrorist’s ego gone horribly wrong.

What God does, though, is stay beside each of us to share the burden of our suffering, grief, despair and mourning.He can ensure that these things run their course and reach healing, and He remains right beside us through all the stages of transition and recovery. Perhaps some of the souls who are in shock and grief now will for the first time realise that He is there, for real,  and will always be.

Perhaps it is the seed of a time of insight and new faith. Perhaps in inspecting the rails and guidance systems, a fault will be discovered that, repaired now, will save the lives of hundreds more who would have perished in the next, worse accident.God reveals Himself and His Love in times of tragedy, and certainly it is always the right time to see God among us.

On the eve of the feast of St James, perhaps He is calling the worlds attention to Santiago and the Camino, and the miracles that have been happening there. There is something He wants us to learn, the gift of Grace and freedom given from His Perfect Heart to be accepted.

What is certain is that God is weeping today with all those who are weeping; He is searching today with all those who are searching for news of their loved ones. He is confused and trying to find meaning today with all those who are seeking some sense of it all; He is wrapping His Arms around the children who have lost mothers or fathers or siblings, taking their fear of being abandoned away.

He is gathering His faithful from all over the world to pray for the souls of the dead,; and certainly He is inviting each of us to think about the meaning, the cost, and the sublime rewards of pilgrimage in a world where most people live too fast, and with blinders on.He will help each of us come to resonance about this tragedy;

He will help us understand the cycles of birth, life and death ; He will help us know in our hearts that in truth, it is His Love that heals all things, and He will wipe all tears from our eyes.

Sister Simon Clare


6 thoughts on “PC # 49 – Train Crash – a perspective from Sr Clare

  1. Thankyou Sister Simon Clare.
    One can never fully understand tragedy such as this and the faith of all seems to be tested. One can only hope and pray that from all this grief and loss there will be something positive. God does have a plan, but sometimes we wonder….
    May those that have been lost rest in peace.
    Sending prayers and blessings to all, especially the Camino family.


  2. Bill,
    Thank you for sharing Sister’s clarification of this tragedy.

    Your explanation of this horrific event helps ease my sorrow and it reminds me this is ultimately the product of human error; our God is not a vengeful God. And as you articulated, “Perhaps it is the seed of a time of insight and new faith.”

    My prayers and thoughts are for those deceased, injured and all their families.



    • Thank you for your prayers, Anne and Arlene. I would like to ask everyone who stops by the blog or forum today, be they family we know or lurkers, to please add their prayers for all those involved in the tragic train derailment near Santiago, especially in observance of the Feast of St. James,today.


  3. Thank you so much Sister for your insights and as far as I am concerned accurate interpretation of the tragedy on the Eve of St. James feast day. I too believe that their are no accidents and like you can only see that God has turned our eyes and ears towards Santiago for a much deeper reason. The souls that he took were ready to leave and the “accident” allowed them to be released in a group rather than alone. Yes, it is sad and difficult for those who were left behind and like Steve who lost Shelley will find their way thru this tragedy and will grow from it as well. Sending love and prayers to all who were directly or indirectly affected. Xoxo


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