Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Prayer in a Time of Tragedy

It has been difficult today not to think about the shooting last night at a gym outside of Bridgeville, PA. For readers of this blog not from the Pittsburgh area: the location of the shooting is about a 10-minute drive from my hometown.

One of my best friends was in the gym at the time of the shooting. Thanks be to God that he was never in harm's way.

This morning, I read the on-line writings of the shooter. But, I am not going to link to these writing or repeat the name of the shooter. In the writings, he makes it clear that attention is what he wanted. While his soul requires prayer, his earthly violence should not earn him posthumous celebrity.

Three women were killed in the shooting: Elizabeth "Betsy" Gannon, Heidi Overmier and Jody Billingsley. These are names to remember -- as are the names of those who were injured.

A prayer:

Dear God,

We pray that your Holy Spirit may be in us -- and all that we say and do -- in the aftermath of this act of violence against innocents.

We pray for those who have died. May their souls now be with you, in the warm embrace of your love that is beyond all understanding.

We pray for the family members and friends of those who have died. Console them in their grief, O God. May they know your love. May they come to again know peace in their hearts and minds.

We pray for anyone who may be contemplating an act of violence such as we have witnessed. God, your people plead for the strength and knowledge to reach out to these troubled souls. Help us to be your instruments in bringing them back from the brink of hate, despair and violence.

We pray for an end to all violence in all its forms everywhere upon the Earth. God, grant us peace in our time.


See also: The Bread Line Blog here and here.


MJ said...

I have been very impressed with Bishop Zubik's response to this crisis. He apparently dispatched a couple priests to the scene, and then he spent time with the families at the local fire hall. He also visited some of the victims at the hospital.

St Edwards Blog said...

Oh my - I am weeping. This is so tragic - when will we learn?