Prayer and the Search for Peace and Joy

In light of yesterday's horror, now more than ever it's important to find and practice the small things that bring us joy and peace.

I went to the vigil Mass tonight, at a church that's not my usual one but one that I know from being a cantor there years ago and my dad's friendship with the music director.  It was a little weird tonight, and not just because the music director played and sang in the absence of a cantor.  I felt really aware of all the children and their parents who were there.

Then, at the homily, Fr. Priest-I-Don't-Know spoke to us all.  He didn't talk long, but he didn't need a lot of words.  He talked about the feelings we all had following the tragic news that so many, particularly children, had been slain at a school--and that feeling that we needed to do something, but we didn't know what.  He encouraged us to pray, that it was the best thing we could do for the people affected.  There's so much tied into this season of Advent--Christ's coming as a child, out of His great love for us; one of our titles for Him is "Prince of Peace."  And so we pray for peace, and we pray to act as peaceful people.

That's what I took away from it, anyway.  I noticed one older woman a few pews ahead of me wiping her eyes.

I'd already been carrying around with me the memories of lockdown trainings--and even a couple of lockdowns that had happened during my few years of teaching that thankfully were more on the side of caution than immediately urgent situations--then it hit me that families had been preparing to celebrate Christmas (or were celebrating Hanukkah possibly?) with those victims--that now they have to face these times without their loved ones.  That there would be presents hidden in the closet for them, maybe even already wrapped packages with their names on them.  What were their families supposed to do now?

I needed to wipe away some tears, too.  

And then I spent almost two hours working on a stupid application and nearly burst into tears again when I hit a wall.  All I wanted to do was spend today cleaning the apartment and I lost all this time.  I know it's really dumb in the greater scheme of things to get so frustrated, but this is my life and for once I'd like to get some real results.

But in the meantime, I'll keep praying. 



C. Allen said…
Praying is the only response. Have read your writings, sympathize with your travails. As librarian do you read Michael Stephens' stuff? (at Tame the web) Was Lib. Journal notable some years ago and has up-to-the minute info. He had link for a Lib. of Congress class for school librarians, you may be interested. Good luck, and best wishes
Annie Coe said…
It is a very sad time, I viewed pictures of some of the little children and seeing their happy, sweet faces really tore me up.
I feel so sad for their families.
Having Christmas without my mother this year is hard, I can't imagine what those parents are going through right now.
I think prayer and forgiveness are the only answers.
And gun control could not hurt!
Kate P said…
C.Allen--thanks for stopping by, and for the recommendation! I'll have to look into all that.

Annie--Yes, I definitely have been thinking about all the people I know who've lost someone close in the past year. It must feel really weird and sometimes painful. I guess I will "offer up" those moments of feeling alone at Christmas for everyone who is missing someone.

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