Yesterday two terrible, bloody tragedies struck young school children in countries a half-a-globe apart. In the United States, a shooter went on a rampage in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 27 people including himself. In China, individual entered an elementary school and began attacking the children with a knife; praise God that none of the 22 victims there were killed, though many are critically injured.
Now the information which I am sharing is nothing new, nor do I expect anyone to be surprised upon hearing this. Thanks to the media, I’m sure everyone is well aware of all the grizzly details. However, my next move may come as a surprise. I’m not going to share my thoughts on “why,” nor am I going to speculate on possible motivations for these terrible crimes. No, and I am not even going share the names of these disturbed perpetrators. I refuse to allow them the ability to bask in whatever sense of glory they may thought would accompany their crimes. However, since this is a prayer blog – and as difficult as it may be – I feel compelled to beg the Lord to extend His mercy to their disordered souls. I also ask you to join me in praying for comfort and healing for their surviving family and friends, who will forever wonder “Why?” and “What if?”
However, the disordered souls who chose violence ought not be the primary focus of our attention or petition. Rather, first and foremost I am going to turn to all of the Holy Innocents who lost their lives in Herod’s raging. Like these children, yesterday’s innocents who lost their lives remain in our hearts and their memories deserve to be kept alive. Thus we turn to our Lady of Sorrows and to Rachel who refuses to be consoled because her children are no more (Matthew 2:18). I ask you to join me in prayer beseeching their intercession:
“Rachel, holy woman of the Old Testament, you who refused to be consoled over the destruction of your children, please help to console all the mothers who lost their children yesterday. Many of them feel just as you did and as one who can commiserate with them in pain, please help to lighten their burden and ease their grief. Help them not to fall victim to despair and thus lose their children twice.
Holy Innocents, you who also lost your lives to the raging of a wicked man, please welcome into Heaven the souls of all who perished in the rampage yesterday, especially the souls of the children. Please escort them into the presence of the Beatific Vision. Show them how to prepare a place in Heaven for their families and friends. And when at last the loved ones of these souls make their way to the Eternal City, be there to welcome and reunite these shattered families.
Oh most Sorrowful and Holy Mother, please come to the aid of all who were affected by yesterday’s tragedy. You who saw your own Son crucified before your very eyes and know the pain of seeing a beloved child die, please assist all of the parents who lost their children. Please comfort them and give them hope. You who weep over the destruction of any of your children, please instill in this broken human race a greater respect for all life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. Amen”
Thank you for praying with me, may God bless you and prevent any such future tragedies.