IMG_3955Lord of the living and of the dead, humbly we come before you in prayer, conscious not only of our failure to listen and heed your warnings, but also to hear the near silent cries of those around us. We believe in your justice, but we are also mindful of your mercy.

You have taught us to have hope even in the darkest hour and to pray for the dead; and thus, we cry out to you, begging your mercy upon those who have found themselves bereft of all hope and have chosen to take their own lives. We know you see perfectly, Lord, not only our sinfulness, but also that goodness of which we sometimes lose sight. Help us to forgive those we want to blame, even as we beg forgiveness for ourselves for having failed in any way the one whose life was ended.   Heal and comfort those who have survived this act of violence and who are greatly suffering the loss of their loved one.

Help us never to take this evil tragedy lightly, nor to ourselves slip into the culture of death and hopelessness that surrounds us. Forgive us our own anger against those who have taken their own lives. But above all, help us to be witnesses of your love and mercy until the end of our natural lives, bearing every hardship and pain for the sake of our own sinfulness, but also as an act of penance–if you will accept it–for those for whom we pray today.

If it be your will, Lord, show them your great mercy, and heal our society’s hopelessness. Strengthen our hearts to bear this loss. Help us to show our love for you in all that we do and say.  We make our prayer through the powerful intercession of our Lady of Sorrows, and in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.