I had a tough time falling asleep last night.
I made the mistake of watching a video chronicling some of the horror occurring in Iraq. Armed thugs in cars barrelling down the highway indiscriminately emptying their weapons into vehicles they were passing on some unnamed highway. Time and again, they would shoot their weapons as they passed then go back and finish their victims off. It was graphic. It was disturbing. It was evil.
Not long before watching this video, my wife and I were with our brand new granddaughter. She's three weeks old today and she is the most precious thing. At one point during our babysitting, while the wife cradled Amelia, swaying with her as we waited for Amelia's mom and my son to get home from a short but much needed little getaway, I wrapped my arms around them both. Together we swayed while looking into Amelia's angelic little face as she cooed and smiled. It was a moment I'll long remember and treasure.
Yet not long thereafter, I sat in the comfort of my own bedroom, watching this wickedly gruesome and graphic scene unfold on a video uploaded by terroristic thugs. It was a shock to my system.
I am grateful that I live in a land thus far shielded from the mayhem depicted in the video. I am grateful but I feel a terrible guilt.
While I was experiencing the kind of love and affection described in storybooks, half a world away, innocents were being slaughtered by merciless thugs.
I know not what I can do about it. I am frustrated by my helplessness.
As I shut down my computer last night, I was moved to pray a Rosary for the victims of the senselessness in Iraq today and for Amelia's future tomorrow.
Dear God, we need a new Pentecost. A new infilling of Your Spirit. We need it now I think more than ever.
I have no idea how our prayers will help our Iraqi brothers. I only know that they will. Mysteriously, providentially, our prayers will benefit them. Materially, we can help them as well. But the power of prayer is what Jesus said will allow us to pick up mountains, and throw them into the sea.
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