Saturday, December 15, 2012

false promises

Like everyone else this week, I'm trying to process the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday.  I didn't turn on the news this morning for the latest updates...not because I can't bear to revisit the pain these families are suffering, not because I'm untouched by it, nor because I'm hardened against it...but in deference to their need for privacy and respect. I'm trying to keep my thoughts reverent and prayerful. The problem is that, in light of this tragedy, I'm not exactly sure who I'm praying to:

God the Father?

God the Son?
I Need More of God in My Life


Or God the Holy Spirit?

It makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong when I pray, or why I bother at all, so little seems to come of it. And that's a problem for me having struggled for so long to come to some sort of workable relationship with a power or deity who chooses to reveal himself/herself in apparent false promises:
"For my yoke is easy and my burden light." Matthew 11, 30
Really? irreconcilable contradictions:
"For the Lord loves justice and right and fills the earth with goodness." Ps. 33, 5
...and in elusive mysteries:
"Faith is the realization of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11, 1
This kind of tragedy...not to mention its enough to raise some serious doubts even among dedicated believers. At Mass tonight, it was reassuring to me to learn that even our pastor struggled to make sense of today's gospel:
"...the Lord is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear." Zephaniah 3, 15
In my Roman Catholic heart of hearts, I don't believe that all the prayer in the world is going to bring one moment of peace, one dew drop of solace, or a trace of comfort to the parents and families of the children whose lives were lost at Sandy Hook yesterday...not to mention the first responders whom I, personally, worship.
Nevertheless, when someone else's suffering is paralyzing to witness and we are powerless to help...we may have nowhere else to turn but to prayer, in the hope that someone or something, somewhere, is listening and able to fulfill his/her promises, to reconcile the contradictions, and to answer the question--"How could you let this happen?"--once and for all.

It's gotta be worth a try.



  1. When I try to think about this senseless action and the grief these families are facing I feel the string that connects me to the universe is broken....prayer may bring the pray-er some comfort but I doubt it will help anyone else.

  2. Adding all my prayers to yours. It's all beyond imagination and horror filled nightmares.

  3. All we can do is pray... and hug.

  4. Nothing like a national tragedy to bring us all together in mind and spirit.

  5. My belief system is New Thought. My understanding of these things is that they occur for the purpose of teaching us lessons for spiritual growth and helping us to evolve as a human species. I also understand from my work in psychology that the perpetrator probably had a psychotic episode involving disconnection from reality.

    So the questions I ask myself are: Where is there violence within me that I must address and dispel? Why do I not step forth in my innate power and compassion? How can I enter and dwell in serenity and sanity within my own psyche and soul? When will I accept the imperfections of this plane and yet do my utmost to bring forth healing, both outside of myself and within? There are multitudes.

    -- Your bro, Pete

  6. Thanks, Pete. That's a lot to think about.

  7. Some things are simply beyond my comprehension. My finite mind can't fully grasp the concept of infinity, or of the Hubble telescope capturing images of something that happened million years ago. Likewise, I cannot comprehend the carnage of senseless violence and wasted lives. At times like this, prayer is all we have left.

  8. Autoterrorism. There's the key you're looking for.

  9. I liked what I saw in this video and connected with what Mike had to say so I thought I would share it.