As we celebrate our Fall Festival we do so subdued by yet again more dreadful killing and maiming of innocent people last weekend in Las Vegas. I want to share some thoughts with you and how shaken I have been as an Englishman in your midst in the face of this horrific massacre. These thoughts are more fully articulated in a prayer by Fr James Martin SJ called Sad, Tired and Angry. (Full text can be found on the diocesan Angelus website for Tuesday Oct3)
We are deeply saddened by this atrocity; saddened for those whose lives were lost and those wounded and hurt and mourning. Saddened that someone could be moved to kill in this way. We are also saddened that our great nation has come to this when one man can amass such an arsenal and set up a concert as a firing range; a killing field. We are saddened that this man, who was not some mad and deranged person but rather a citizen, one of us, had premediated this attack and had the ability to carry around with impunity such an arsenal; that saddens and frightens us.
We are also tired, tired of the headlines that speak of the violence and death visited upon some of our own by one of our own. We are tired that no progress seems to be made on this issue. Have we become so numbed by these atrocities that we no longer care to heal our society?
We are angry with those in power at all levels and on all sides of the political and social spectrum are unwilling to grasp this the hottest of issues facing all of us and who hide behind slogans, vested interests, political dogma and disputed interpretations of the constitution. America is its people not just its constitution and it is certainly not its vested financial interests. This is a pro-life issue for it is clearly a matter of life and death. Pro-Life is an attitude and belief for all of life, not just its wondrous start. We need an openness to debate not just the matter of sensible and proportional gun control but also how do we tackle this tendency to violence in our society. The opening words of the Constitution clearly states the desire to “insure domestic Tranquility”. We are sad, tired and angry and far from domestic tranquility. How can we attain “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” under these conditions?
May God Bless You and Your Families,
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ