Finding light in the darkness

Picture of David Ahern

David Ahern

David is the editor of The Majellan

Violence can be random and unexpected with devastating outcomes for the victims and their loved ones.

As we saw in Sydney, five women and a man were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when they lost their lives at a shopping mall. When dealing with such tragedies, Christians and people of other faiths seek solace in praying. Through prayer, we try to find answers to the ‘incomprehensible’ nature of the event that has taken place.


The man responsible for the attack reportedly had had a long history of mental health issues, including schizophrenia. Mental health can be complex, and we will probably never know why this individual did what he did.


It is important, however, not to demonise all those who suffer with these conditions. Most of us have a family member, relative or friend who has suffered or continues to suffer from a mental health issue.


For people who struggle with their mental health, they are often living a private hell and pose little risk to others. Therefore, they need to be embraced and not shunned.


In the words of Pope Francis who has spoken a number of times about the importance of solidarity and friendship, “Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.


“The bible says whoever finds a friend has found a treasure. I would like to invite everyone to go beyond their groups of friends and build social friendship which is so necessary for living together well.”


For all those affected by violence, we pray.


Dear Lord, you know the anguish of the sorrowful, you are attentive to the prayers of the broken-hearted. Hear your people who cry out to you in their need; strengthen their hope in your lasting goodness.

We pray today for those who have died because of violence. Draw them to yourself; let your face shine upon them. May they be greeted with choirs of angels and experience your eternal peace and joy.

Be near to all those who have been touched by violence: those who have been hurt, lost their loved ones or lost their sense of security. Be for them a steady comfort and safe resting place.

Soften the hearts and steady the minds of those who would do violence to others. May hate be replaced with love, violence with peace and darkness with your light.



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