Father Bob Stone, CM, Chaplain, National Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton, composed the following prayer as our country grieves the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, COnnecticut.May the coming celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ help us all to experience the Peace which God wants us to know, especially to help us deal with this tragic event.
O God, a loud cry is heard
–not in Ramah where Rachel bewailed her young–
but throughout our United States of America
as we have suffered with the people of Newtown, CT,
over the senseless deaths of twenty children and six adults.
We join the families of teachers and students alike as they mourn
and cry out to God, hoping that He will hear them.
With the hope of Christians we trust that You have welcomed
each one of them into their eternal home–
the children met at the gates by the Holy Innocents,
and the adults greeted on their arrival by the martyrs who
protected their brothers and sisters from the hand of
We pray, O Lord, that you help us find a way to convince our
fellow citizens to stop the multiplying of firearms.
We beseech You, God of mercy,
to pour Your Holy Spirit upon governments and schools,
to continue to protect the powerless and the defenseless.
We ask you, Lord, to calm the fears of families whose children
leave home each day for their education,
and whose adults work in public areas.
We thank, God of all that is good,
for Your grace which helped teachers and first responders to
save so many lives,
and which inspired so many ministers, counselors, and
professionals to lend a helping hand to those who mourn.
In these days before we celebrate the birth of Jesus,
may the dead sleep in heavenly peace,
those who mourn hear tidings of comfort and joy,
and all Christians pray:
“O come to us, abide with us, our God Emmanuel.”
In Jesus’ name. Amen.