This morning in Rome, Pope Benedict prays with us all for the families who lost children on Friday in that horrifying school shooting in Connecticut:
I was deeply saddened by Friday’s senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut. I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer. May the God of consolation touch their hearts and ease their pain. During this Advent Season, let us dedicate ourselves more fervently to prayer and to acts of peace.
Every Italian I encountered on Friday night and Saturday morning wanted an American to pass along the knowledge of their prayers, most especially for the parents of the children who were murdered.
In 1993, Blessed John Paul II said to blind and paraplegic people gathered in Assisi:
The world needs peace, harmony, and mutual understanding. The divine Master bequeathed to the Church and to the men of all times his perennial testament of love: “Love one another as I have loved you!” (Jn 15:12). A sense of great sadness floods the heart when we think of the infinite goodness of God and the human indifference, the hatred, and the wars that cloud the plan of divine Providence on Earth. You, with your prayer and with the testimony of goodness, can offer a daily contribution to the cause of the pacification of hearts and the establishment of peace among men. I have come to tell you that the Pope relies on your hidden but effective contribution: ask God for the gift of peace to hearts, to families, and to peoples. Beloved ones! In the face of the tragedies of men, prayers may seem ineffective and vain, but they always open new glimpses of hope, especially when they are enhanced by the pain that is transformed into love.
Our acts can bring senseless violence into the world. They can also bring the most consoling and fruitful peace into the lives of our neighbors.