Novena for Peace: Day 3 Shattered Lives

Shattered lives, prayers for peace

Yesterday in Connecticut violence ripped through 27 families, a community, and the whole nation. Numb disbelief settles on us as we imagine the horror of mothers and fathers who wailed through the night for their little ones sent off to school to never return home again. Words are so inadequate. What comfort can we offer?

Even in our apparent impotence, we can continue prayers for peace with the specific intention to offer love and support to the families who suffer. In the mystery of our connectedness, in our Oneness, our prayers will do their work. In compassion (com = with, passion = suffer: compassion = to suffer with) we will  – in Spirit – offer our silent witness to the pain and grief of these families. As we hold them in our hearts, let us also commit to compassionately love those closest us.

For me, music soothes, especially when words are useless. When my heart hurts so deeply with events that make no sense, music helps me cope. There is a website devoted to songs of grief called the Memorial Music Library that has a page devoted to songs of grief over the loss of a child . The library plays one song after another.

Other songs I listened to after hearing the awful news were:

Nikki Venable’s Now I lay me down to sleep

Sarah McLaughlin’s In the Arms of an Angel

Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven

The Dixie Chicks Godspeed

Selah’s I Will Carry You


I spoke recently with a woman in her sixties whose child had died at 20 years old. When I asked how long ago her daughter had died she said, “ages ago and yesterday.” For these Connecticut families, their staggering loss will weave itself into the fabric of their beings. Let us pray that as it does, the pain will not crush them and that one day they will feel peace again.

We continue to pray our ritual prayers for peace with our hearts broken.

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