Last night, a group of Catholic University students huddled around some candles and a sign that read, “Prayer Vigil for Troy Davis” on the sidewalk of the Pryzbyla Center, which serves as the campus’ student union. As his scheduled execution at 7 p.m. approached, the students took turns coming forward and extinguishing one of the candles. Finally, the last candle was extinguished. The students prayed silently. Some were in tears. They did not get the word of the last minute delay, as the Supreme Court considered granting a stay of execution. The students dispersed into the night.
If you want to know about “Catholic identity” at CUA, there it is: Prayer in the face of evil. Students, whose lives are not un-busy, taking time to express their solidarity with a man they did not know apart from the evident injustice of what was about to happen to him. Students overcoming all the noisy distractions of this noisiest of cultures, and finding, even creating, silence.