In order to exercise his freedom, then, man must move beyond the relativistic horizon and come to know the truth about himself and the truth about good and evil. Deep within his conscience, man discovers a law that he did not lay upon himself, but which he must obey. Its voice calls him to love and to do what is good, to avoid evil and to take responsibility for the good he does and the evil he commits(5). (Benedict XXI’s World Day of Peace Message: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/peace/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20111208_xlv-world-day-peace_en.html
Even our President Obama had some profound words to say on the school shooting: “These tragedies must end. And for them to end we must change.” For once, I totally agree with his words, but probably not his intent. Pursuing his intent, I expect him to enact rules and regulations to enforce how HE chooses to view what is right --- perhaps gun control laws, or maybe a soldier in each school room. He’ll choose to make happen HIS will, because he can.
But that’s what the shooter did.
Yes, for tragedies to end we must change. But that’s what Jesus said 2000 years ago, and He showed us how. Unfortunately many of us never got past the thinking of Adam and “I want it, and I want it now.”
We are not evil, but we need to change from our evil choices. For a start, we can ask God: “What is Your will for me?” And we can read and try to understand the example of Jesus. His example was one of love, which started with God and neighbor, not Himself.
Thinking and seeing all these reactions to the shootings of the children, I was led to recall another shooting of children which took place a few years ago, in a little Amish town, in Pennsylvania I believe. There, innocent children were also killed in a school, and their parents and loved ones then gathered together to grieve and pray. There were no loud shouts then about “someone needs to stop this evil.” Rather there, in the small church, their first prayers were for the shooter. I think those people understood in their hearts Jesus’ example about loving neighbor first, and of accepting God’s will --- even if they could not understand it. And they knew that if that example of Jesus were followed, there would be no more shootings. They knew what was needed was change of heart, not of laws.
And they prayed.