I had the honor yesterday, of lighting a candle during the Vigil for Pittsburgh, a gathering held at NYU to mourn together the loss of 11 lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue at the hands of an anti-Semitic terrorist.
I cried many tears. I listened, I prayed, I sang, I lamented alongside of my brothers and sisters of the Jewish community. I was not alone. Hundreds of students of all faiths were there to show our love and support.
The stories we heard point to the humanity of the individuals who died and the trauma of the community most closely impacted by this attack. And the truth is, we are all harmed by this kind of violence. Those who are victims, those of us who witness it and yes, even the perpetrator is harmed by the damage and the pain inflicted on others.
And so, we must pray. We must pray for our healing as individuals who must get up each day and walk into a dangerous world. We must pray for one another that we we have the courage to be our whole selves, so that the world may see the beautiful facet of God that is our unique aspect of creation. And we must pray for those who would seek to do harm to another, that we might recognize that the damage they are expressing through the violence of their hands is a reflection of the harm that they are carrying within their own soul, their being in the world.
God is with us. As we prepare for All Saints Day and remember the faithful who have died, we are reminded of own human frailty, and we are called to live in hope, not only of the life eternal that is to come, but of God's work through us to build a better world. On Sunday I invite you to gather, to pray and to renew our commitments to being a reflection of God's light and love in the world. And together we can say, "We will with God's help."
-Chaplain Mary Cat