Yet another senseless act of hatred, violence & destruction assails us through the media this morning, this time in Aurora, Colorado, just 15 miles down the road from a similar act committed by 2 disturbed teens in 1999 at Columbine High School. The majority of hearts go out to those that survived the terror or tragically lost loved ones. Quite a few hearts go out to the family & friends of the disturbed young man who committed such atrocity. Hopefully, amidst the public outcry for justice, he will be looked upon with compassion & sadness for he too is both victim as well as victimizer in this tragedy.
Many questions are being asked: Who? What? How? When? Where? Over the next few weeks, if not months, many facts & much data will be revealed in answer to these & other questions. But one question will remain unanswered—Why? Many potential answers to this question are already flooding out over the media air waves that are not really answers as we look to for someone or something to ultimately blame for this tragedy. There is no understanding, no reason, no logic that can explain the occurrence of this & other such tragedies. There is no answer to “Why?”
Out of the ugliness of the carnage, suffering & death though, beauty began to shine through from the very beginning as the indomitableness of the human spirit showed its true colors. Out of the darkness of one individual’s inhumanity, the light of true humanity has been revealed. A multitude of unknown & unnamed persons, most of whom are happy to remain unknown & unnamed—police officers, EMS responders, investigators, technicians, nurses, doctors, surgeons, crisis counselors, friends, loved ones & even strangers—all collectively helping, treating, consoling, crying, & praying for the suffering & hurting while they too are suffering & hurting. Thus we, humanity, will heal & continue to live. Out of the darkness has come light. This too is beyond our understanding, or at least mine.
If we would but allow it & remember it, the light will overcome & destroy the darkness. For my part, I will show my love & appreciation for my family, my friends, co-workers & acquaintances realizing that they may not be there tomorrow or even by today’s end. I will love them a little more fervently & listen to them a little more closely realizing that this may be the last opportunity for me to do so. I will live my life with a little more purpose & a little more focus realizing that my life may change or end suddenly & without warning. Family & friends, house & home, life & love—all will be appreciated & enjoyed a little bit more now.
I will strengthen & deepen my communion with the Holy Trinity remembering how blessed I am by His grace & mercy. I will relish & participate in the mysteries, the channel of God’s grace to us, a little more intensely. I will pray a little more fervently, a little more regularly, a little more sincerely. I will pray for the living & the dead. I will try to consider a little more frequently “But for the grace of God, there go I.”
Prayer for the living:
Heavenly Father, physician of our souls & bodies, Who have sent Your only-begotten Son & our Lord Jesus Christ to heal every sickness & infirmity, visit & heal also Your servant(s) (Names) from all physical & spiritual ailments through the grace of Your Christ. Grant him/her/them patience in this sickness, strength of body & spirit, & recovery of health. Lord, You have taught us through Your word to pray for each other that we may be healed. I pray, heal Your servant(s) (Names) & grant to him/her/them the gift of complete health. For You are the source of healing & to You I give glory, Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer for the deceased:
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of thy servants (Names), & beseech thee to grant them rest in the place of thy rest, where all thy blessed Saints repose, & where the light of thy countenance shineth forever. And I beseech thee also to grant that our present lives may be godly, sober, & blameless, that, we too may be made worthy to enter into thy heavenly Kingdom with those we love but see no longer: for thou art the Resurrection, & the Life, & the Repose of thy departed servants, O Christ our God, & unto thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, & to the Son, & to the Holy Spirit; now & ever, & unto ages of ages. Amen.