“Thus says the Lord: In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15)
We are all mourning for the children of Newton, Connecticut; the children of the southside of Chicago; the children of war. It took me a while to write this, because I with you am mourning for those poor families.
There ,of course, needs to be a time of mourning. Then there needs to be a time of action. The killing must stop. These massacres are becoming way too frequent and sickeningly similar. The answers are not simple, but we need to start somewhere. We cannot throw our hands up in despair and do nothing.
Do we really need assault weapons and the munitions that go with them to hunt? When will we recognize that there needs to be access to care for mental illness? We need to look at the violence being promoted through our media and video games. Adults need to take more responsibility to try conflict resolution rather than violence/war.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious sent out a response to the Newton Tragedy that includes some action steps. (www.lcwr.org)
- Let your elected officials at every level of government know that you favor responsible gun legislation.
- Encourage congressional leaders to support a federal ban on the sale, transfer, importation and possession of assault weapons and the munitions that go with them.
- Ask for funding for robust care for those with mental illness.
- Address the growing use of violence as a means of entertainment.
On December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, there is a nationwide effort to remember the 20 children and six adults killed in Newtown. Motherhouses, monasteries, churches and town halls are being asked to ring their bells at noon EST and pause for a moment of silence for those who have lost loved ones.
Together we can make this world a safer place for all of our children and with the followers of St. Francis we ask God to “Make me an instrument of Your peace”