Dear Members of the Notre Dame Law School Community,
Yesterday, I watched in horror as a mob made a terrorist assault on the United States Capitol. As the images unfolded, my son asked me whether I had ever seen anything like this before. I immediately recalled that twenty years ago, 37 Americans on United flight 93 gave their lives to protect that very building — the United States Capitol — from a terrorist attack. I never imagined that the President of the United States would incite a mob to accomplish what those hijackers could not.
In general, I do not think it appropriate for the Dean of a law school to comment on political events. But what happened yesterday was not political; it was a shameful crime. A mob was incited to attack the very thing to which we in this community have devoted our lives, namely, the rule of law. I have resisted commenting on the President’s posture over the last two months, since I fully trusted in our institutions and the rule of law. In the end, I believed, as I still do, that the will of the American people — expressed at the ballot box last November 3rd — will prevail.
I still believe in our American institutions. I still believe in the rule of law. But more than either, I believe in God, and our need for His divine guidance at this moment. Toward that end, I would like to ask each of us to join in prayer. I would like each of us to call upon God in the words of Saint Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Please pray for our country. Our country needs you — "a different kind of lawyer" — now more than ever.
Yours in Notre Dame,
G. Marcus Cole
Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law