Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., urges all to turn to God in his reflection on the “tragic, senseless loss of life resulting from the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.”
Like virtually all Americans, regardless of their personal religious convictions or lack thereof, I was sickened once again by the tragic, senseless loss of life resulting from the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. A quick internet search reveals that there have been 248 such slaughters so far in 2019 at a mind-boggling rate of 1.2 shootings per day with over 1,325 victims, 979 injured and 246 killed. Absolutely unbelievable in a civilized society! And the carnage seems to know no boundaries, no respect for persons, no signs of ending.
There has been no shortage of “statements” – including this one – and no lack of the promises of “thoughts and prayers.” Unfortunately, those statements and promises bring precious little comfort anymore, try as they might and as sincerely heartfelt as they may be. What else can we say? We’ve used up all the words. What else can we do in the face of such blatant disregard for life? We feel helpless, bracing ourselves for the seemingly inevitable “next time” or “next one.”
As Bishop, as a person of faith, I believe it is essential that we turn to God in times like these, and I encourage all people of faith to do so, mindful of St. Peter’s question in the Gospel, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of everlasting life (John 6:68).” You alone, Lord.