Thoughts and prayers, shots and tears

A meditation on mass shootings

by Ken Sehested

Our nation, averaging one mass shooting per day, now has suffered two in the span of 13 hours. Thoughts and prayers. Shots and tears.

Has there ever been a time when the practice of “prayer” has been so debased and its announcement greeted with such cynicism?

Maybe when Jesus compared the piety of the religious establishment to white washed tombs, radiant in the full light of day, yet full of rot and canker (Matthew 23:27).

Maybe when Isaiah scoffed at the priestly class of his day, who make a show of sanctimony and “delight to draw near to God,” yet deliver mischief and oppression and “strike with wicked fists” (58:2-4)?

Is it any wonder that the general public is so disenchanted with, even sickened by, religious ardor?

One could only wish that being swathed in sackcloth and smeared with ashes were enough. It is not.

Kyrie eleison.

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