On Friday, December 14, 2012, 20 children were killed in a shooting rampage at an elementary scool in Newtwon, Connecticut. Seven adults, including the gunman, also died at the scene. As the families and freinds of he deceased mourn the loss of their loved ones, we pray for the children, and for all those whose lives have been affected by this tragedy.
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Our hearts are broken.
Today, in the midst of holiday cheer,
we are painfully reminded of the cruelty and fragility of our lives together.
How do we live with such unimaginable grief?
How do we comfort such intolerable pain?
How do we care for each other in a world where violence seems so readily accessible?
Great comforter and protector,
We have no answers.
No words that can heal the broken heartedness we feel.
You can download the full text of the prayer by clicking on the link at the United Church of Canada
2 thoughts on “A Prayer for the Children of Connecticut”
As difficult as it may be, the true test of our compassion, as we pray for the children, is to forgive and pray for the gunman. Gun control is an important part of dealing with the problem, but we also must find a way to reach the hearts of troubled young people before they go down the same road.
Yes, little is demanded of us when we pray for the victims of violence. That comes naturally. But to walk as children of the light requires us to love and pray for the perpetrator as well–a task that challenges our moral sensibilities and a truer measure of our virtue. As far as curbing gun violence, it is not a matter of either/or but both/and. We need gun control laws and better mental health services for our youth. However, it is always a challenge to get help to the people who need it most. Youth are generally loathe to trust or seek "outside help." Furthermore, families and friends often underestimate the emotional, mental, and I daresay, spiritual distress of their loved one soon enough in order to get them the help they need. In light of this, establishing gun control laws seems more doable.After years of a dearth of mental health services for youth–at least south of the Fraser where I live–I was encouraged earlier this week to learn of some expansion of resources for youth and young adults. You can read more about it at http://mindcheck.ca/about-us . Thanks, David for your thoughtful remarks.