A Prayer for Newtown

Where were you, God?

We are crushed with grief, God.
We cannot bear to think of so many people killed.
We cannot bear to think of children being killed.
It is unthinkable to us, the worst tragedy.

Children.

Where were you, God?
How could you let this happen?
Why is your world like this?
We are sad and angry and confused.

Advertisement

But God, we know that you know what it means to have
A child die.
For your Son died a violent death.

And we know that your Son understands grief.
For he wept bitterly when his friend Lazarus died.
And he was moved with compassion when he saw suffering.
His heart broke like our hearts do.
He cried like we do today.

We know too that your Son raised Lazarus from the dead.
And that you raised your own murdered Son from the grave,
As a sign of the eternal life you have planned for us.
The life into which you now place the victims, whom you loved.
And love.

We know that you understand our terrible anguish.
You accept our bitterness and our confusion too.
And we know that your Son is beside us, weeping with us.

We know that you are still with us God, in the darkness.
In our compassion for the families and friends of the victims.
In the love that moves us to care for one another.
In the anger that drives us to put an end to violence,
As your Son tried to do in his time with us.

Most of all, eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Edward Thiery
4 years 11 months ago

This would be a very nice prayer, except that Jesus and Lazarus were not children like 20 of those in Newtown, and Jesus' mission was to die as an adult.

Molly Roach
4 years 11 months ago

I think God was with the person who turned on the intercom, the principal and psychologist who ran into the hallway to see what was going on; with the teachers who hid children in closets and bathrooms; with the maintenance guy who ran through the hall warning people about what was taking place.We need to talk about mental illness in this country---how to identify and treat.  

Teresa McLendon
4 years 11 months ago

Thank you for this. You have put a voice to the wordless prayer that has caught in my throat these last three days. 

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Participants at the recent plenary assembly approved a petition requesting the pope to waive the “monitum” issued by the Holy Office in 1962.
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 21, 2017
If the tragic revelations of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis are any guide, the process of reckoning with problems that have been avoided for decades will itself take decades.
The EditorsNovember 21, 2017
“Coco” is—despite its otherworldly elements—a realistic look into love, family and tradition.
Olga SeguraNovember 21, 2017
Since becoming pope, Francis has given special attention to the Holy See’s diplomatic staff. 
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 21, 2017