Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Somber Day

It's hard to know what to say on the day after the tragedy of yesterday. Add to that the sobering post by Juan Cole at Informed Comment in which he says this:

I keep hearing from US politicians and the US mass media that the "situation is improving" in Iraq. The profound sorrow and alarm produced in the American public by the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech should give us a baseline for what the Iraqis are actually living through. They have two Virginia Tech-style attacks every single day.


I[Cole] wrote on February 26,

' A suicide bomber with a bomb belt got into the lobby of the School of Administration and Economy of Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and managed to set it off despite being spotted at the last minute by university security guards. The blast killed 41 and wounded a similar number according to late reports, with body parts everywhere and big pools of blood in the foyer as students were shredded by the high explosives. '

That isn't "slow progress" or just "progress," the way the weasels in Washington keep proclaiming. It is the most massive manmade human tragedy of the young century.
(My bolding)

To keep informed of the real story in Iraq and the Middle East, I read Professor Cole nearly every day.

How do we bear this state of affairs? Sometimes it's overwhelming for me. I do what I can do in my small way to try to change things. It's pitifully little; may God forgive my sins of omission.

And I pray.

From the Carmina Gadelica:

On the Rock of rocks
The peace of Peter and Paul,
Of James and John the beloved,
And of the pure perfect Virgin,
The pure perfect Virgin.

The peace of the Father of joy,
The peace of the Christ of pasch,
The peace of the Spirit of grace,
To ourselves and to our children,
Ourselves and our children.

And I look for a word from the Lord.

From the Lectionary:

Psalm 5:1-3

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.

1 John 2:7-11

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says, ‘I am in the light’, while hating a brother or sister,* is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person* there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer* is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.


  1. Thanks for the reflection - a soldier in Iraq wrote:
    "This happens every day in Iraq. I haven't heard about anyone being upset on college campuses for the 3,400 who have died and the 35,000 wounded in a war based on lies that we are paying $8 billion a month for, have you? It's just bringing it all home for me: they have no idea what violence really is. Maybe its time they found out.''

  2. Ah, Grandmere... I have to link to this post. Thank you for pulling together these thoughts and readings. Yes, Yes.

    Pax, C.

  3. A Virginia Tech every single day. Think of it. Who is listening to the soldiers?

    Lord, have mercy.

  4. It's true that we have no idea what true violence is like -- I, at least, do not. Hardship for me (little suburban hothouse flower that I am, I am ashamed to admit) is a broken dishwasher or a flat tire. Lord, have mercy on me.

    Iraq and Virginia Tech are both tragedies, things that did not have to happen. If we had passed gun control legislation in this country, perhaps at least this latest school incident could have been prevented. But I guess I am preaching to the choir.

    Kyrie eleison.


  5. Yes, Judith, I think we are your choir. Thanks for dropping in.

  6. And ten Virginia Techs everyday in Darfur. Thanks for this.


  7. Milton, thanks for the reminder about Darfur. And for the kind words.

  8. Let's not forget the parents of the shooter; they are victims too, and bear a greater burden--not only for the self-inflicted loss of their own son, but for the consequence of his actions--let's keep them in our prayers as well.

    Even though horrors occur daily in Iraq, Palestine/Israel, Darfur and other distant places, it is very different when it hits in the heart of our own country. I am not diminishing the violence in other places, not at all. But it is different when it is here, when it is students, when it is teachers.

    Lord, in your mercy, help us all.

  9. Catherine, I included the families of all the dead in the prayers in my Jesus Wept post.

    I intend no diminishment of the horror of violence against anyone. The lives of the people in Iraq and Darfur are no less precious in the eyes of God than the lives of the people at Virginia Tech.

  10. We are definitely little babies in the world of real harm and hatred, and violence.

    May God have mercy on us all.


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