I so love Sundays! There is no day of the week I desire more than Sunday. For me, as a Permanent Deacon, I almost always have an opportunity to exercise my ministry on a Sunday. Today, I returned to Most Holy Trinity to assist as a Deacon at two masses. They were short handed this weekend and was so glad that I could help out. Seeing so many old friends and acquaintances was nice but assisting at Mass is one of the things us Deacons are ready to do, even at a moments notice.
I left for MHT very early this morning so I could get a feel for the new church and to visit with those setting up for a MHT fundraiser. I barely knew much about what was going on in Orlando other than there was another senseless mass shooting. By the time I returned home near 1 PM the horror of todays terrorism was clear. You all know by now what I know. 50 people are dead, another 53 are injured. That's 103 people who took fire from a lone radical Islamist jihadi. The story, as it unfolds, seems to indicate that the casualties could have been so much higher and the quick action of brave policemen prevented that from happening and ended the life of the gunman.
This type of attack is called "lone wolf" and we in America are struggling with the aftermath of a second huge "lone wolf" in 6+ months. I acknowledge that these types of attacks have to be the hardest type of radical Islamic terrorist attacks to prevent. As certain as San Bernardino was and now Orlando is, it is a sure bet that this will happen again.
As a person of faith, as a member of the Catholic clergy, I am first and foremost called to prayer. I pray for each and every victim, for eternal rest for the deceased, healing for the injured, comfort and peace for those who mourn and sit next to the bed of an injured loved one or friend. I pray for everyone who escaped that place of death without injury because their life will be forever shaped by this day.
Some will say this nightclub was singled out because it is a LGBT bar. Radical Islamic terrorist have a special hate for folks with same sex attraction. It is well known that by Sharia Law, it is perfectly acceptable to kill a homosexual or lesbian by throwing them off roofs of buildings. Barbaric. My own Facebook pages have not given rise to a "they deserved what they got" mentality but I understand it actually is out there on social media. This is sick and so wrong. Can we not understand, after all this time, that sudden death at the hands of these murderers is very real and discriminates not? Can we not understand that all peoples are made in the image of God and deserve respect and basic human dignity? No one should be concerned about their safety, let alone their very life, for any reason including sexual orientation or gender identity. Todays events are what they are: sad, horrific, atrocious and senseless.
While at prayer I will also pray for those in charge with keeping all of us safe. The threat of these "lone wolves" and all forms of terrorism, particularly the radical Islamic variety are apparently huge challenges that confound even the best of law enforcement. I will pray too for those who hate us so; pray for them because I cannot just simply hate them, cannot return evil for evil. Indeed, for those who choose to do such heinous things, it is justice that law enforcement takes them out before they take us out; still I pray for them.
I hate these terrorist events, I hate all senseless killing, I hate "hate" and I so especially hate that this happened on a Sunday. That's just me; it's sad and senseless any time it happens.
Please join me in prayer. Pray that as a nation and a people, we learn to love more and hate less. And we pray for every victim and for the day this all comes to an end.
Kyrie Eleison, Christi Eleison.