Once again horrific images of violence and death have been displayed on our various media devices this past week. Our prayers, solidarity and thoughts are with all who are suffering this tragic event. The images presented seemed like a “war zone” in the midst of an American destination known as a fun city for so many from our country and international destinations. Coming to grips with such brutality and senseless violence challenges the civility of society on many levels. We come up short with rational explanations in the face of such horror. Examining history both recent and distant, we find examples of such atrocities committed both by individuals and nations. Trying to make rational sense of destructive behavior such as what occurred in Las Vegas is impossible to fathom in civilized societies. When individuals, groups and nations abridge the dignity, sacredness and right to life of any and all persons, “all hell can break loose”. How do we individually and collectively respond to such horror? It seems to me that each may need to examine our own manner of interactions with others as a beginning. Our conversations, driving habits, civility at home, public conduct, political discourse and the many venues of our life experiences call forth a more respectful personal behavior from each of us. I and others often find it easier to point the finger at other persons and their faults and not really “look into the mirror of my own life”.
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.