Too soon after Paris, we are again witnesses to horror; let us pray, again
It is a mere 20 days since we were united in prayer for the people of Paris, and here we are again. Fourteen people dead, at least 17 injured through terrible gunshots. These were peaceful people, come together for a holiday party.
Much is unknown. A neighborhood is in lockdown; police are approaching their duties with the utmost care. Media are in a holding pattern, social media is — as usual — melting down under the combined combustion of anger and fear that manifests as shrill, opportunistic political noise.
God help us. Let us pray.
Lord, the ones you love are feeling besieged. In days of yore, communication traveled slowly, via messengers and prophets. If wicked and grave events happened in a land 3,000 miles away, they might as well have happened upon a far-flung star, within your sight, alone. When news of war or turmoil did arrive — over time and difficult space — it was possible to receive it while still feeling untouched, and safe.
Now, we not only view the distant evil from the comfort of a desk or couch, we can carry it with us from room to room, so we don’t miss a moment of it. We feel horror but cannot look away. Kyrie eleison.
Lord, the ones you love are feeling confused. Chaos seems to be descending upon us with such frequency that, while shaken, we find ourselves paradoxically benumbed; we are surely not indifferent, but these circumstances are beginning to feel so familiar that we are developing an ability to live our lives around them — to hear of mass murder, and then check our email; to see a real street under genuine siege and still make supper. We fear this disconnect is a symptom of hearts walled-off, souls closed in upon themselves in sad self-protection. We know that such barriers once erected, further disable our ability to reach out to each other, to be community for each other. Christe eleison.
Lord, the ones you love are feeling untethered from everything we used to know about how the world, and society, worked. Too often we forget that we are forever within your sight, and within your reach, by means of the lifeline of prayer; help us to remember, in this circumstance and in all circumstances, good or ill, to turn to you, to reach out to you, in perfect assurance of your constant presence. Kyrie eleison.
Lord Jesus, have mercy on your people
Christ Jesus, deliver us from evil,
Lord Jesus, have mercy on us
Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de la Porciuncula (Our Lady, Queen of the Angels), pray for the people of California and for the whole world
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for the people of San Bernardino, and for the whole world
Saint Bernardine of Siena, pray for the people of San Bernardino, for the whole world
St. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Gabriel, (Archangels) pray for the Los Angeles, and for the whole world
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us
Saint Joseph, pray for us,
Saint James, pray for us
Saint John, pray for us
Saint Clare, pray for us
Saint Clement, pray for us
Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us
Saint Anne, pray for us
Saint Barbara, pray for us
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us
Saint Junipero Serra, pray for us
All you holy men and women, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English edition of Aleteia