Late night host Jimmy Fallon recently spent 10 days in the ICU recovering from a fall in which he severely injured his finger. When Fallon returned to the “Tonight Show” after a two week hiatus, he shared the details of his injury and hospital stay with his audience.
He tells people that during his hospital stay he read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. When you read a book by that title, it indicates you must be searching for something deeper. Though not a Christian book, this story of a Nazi concentration camp survivor asks many questions that Christians must answer for themselves such as: what is the meaning of suffering? What is the purpose of life?
Why would this story be of interest to Catholic Link? Jimmy Fallon was raised in a devout Catholic family. In an interview for NPR in 2012, Fallon said, “I loved the church. I loved the idea of it. I loved the smell of the incense. I loved the feeling you get when you left church. I loved like how this priest can make people feel this good… I loved the whole idea of it. My grandfather was very religious, so I used to go to Mass with him at like 6:45 in the morning.” In fact, Fallon has even stated that growing up he wanted to become a priest. Over time, like many in our culture, he has fallen away from the Church and no longer attends Mass. Most of us know someone with a similar story: a friend or relative who has also drifted away from the faith but is still searching for meaning.
We know that it is impossible to understand our purpose here on Earth without first understanding the love our Heavenly Father has for us. We understand that the aching in our hearts can only be found in Christ. Let us pray for Jimmy Fallon and for countless others like him that they will rediscover their home in the Catholic Church. If you know someone with a similar story, check out Catholics Come Home for some wonderful resources. Don’t wait for the people in your life to experience suffering or trauma before sharing with them the Good News that God has for them; offer them hope in Jesus today.
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