Given today’s tragic events in Boston, how does one respond in light of the Christian faith? This is not an easy question and it is one faced by millions of people around the world who endure violence on a more regular basis than most of us in the United States.
The first response, as always, must be prayer. There will be time to reflect on and debate the causes later. Today is a time for prayer.
One month following the devastating acts of September 11th, Blessed John Paul II offered us this prayer that seems fitting for this time.
We ask for consolation and comfort
for their family and relatives,
burdened by pain;
we invoke strength and courage
for the many who continue their work
in the places struck by this terrible disaster;
we implore for tenacity and perseverance
by all men of goodwill
continuing on the paths of justice and peace.
May the Lord remove from the heart of man
every trace of resentment, of hostility and of hate,
and open him to reconciliation,
to solidarity and to peace.
Let us pray so that the “culture of love”
may be established all over the world.
O God, Almighty and Merciful,
he who sows discord cannot understand you,
he who loves violence cannot welcome you:
watch over us in our painful human condition
tried by the brutal acts of terrorism and death;
Comfort your children and open our hearts to hope,
that our time may again know days of serenity and peace.