Dear Community of the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center,
Yesterday was International Day of Non-Violence, observed each year on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. Today we mourn and lament the violence our country witnessed this weekend in Las Vegas when 59 people were killed and 527 people wounded in a mass shooting. Today, we are left with a lot of questions, a lot of sorrow, a lot of anger and with broken hearts full of God's love.
Today, I feel very numb and frankly, anxious about the state of the world and our country. Today, I feel grateful for the community at the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center. The bonds that we share, the gifts and talents we freely offer and the love created by our gathering together shows us the work of the Holy Spirit and in turn, instills us with Hope.
In his monologue last night, Stephen Colbert said this, "By all means offer thoughts and prayers, but then think about what you should do and pray for the courage to do it." Let's pray for this courage. There is something we can do today, right now. In the wake of the shooting, California Senator Diane Feinstein made a statement about her commitment to proceed with supporting legislation that will help prohibit people from being able to make automatic weapons. The shooter in Las Vegas converted at least one of his semi-automatic weapons into an automatic weapon that can shoot between 400-800 rounds per minute. Let's call Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris this week to share our concern, encourage them to support gun control reform and ask them about their plans moving forward on this issue. (Read Senator Feinstein's full statement HERE)
Here's what we can do today, let's call or write to our Senators:
1) Find contact info for our Senators HERE
2) Reflect on the events of this weekend, what our faith calls us to and what you want to communicate to our political leaders about gun violence. To begin your reflection, pray with this pray from James Martin, SJ - Sad, Tired & Angry: A Prayer in the face of gun violence and article, Gun Control is a Pro-Life Issue.
2) Call and introduce yourself, share that you are part of the faith community in the Bay Area or write a letter to mail.
3) Ask what Senator Feinstein and Harris are planning on doing to introduce and support new legislation on gun control.
4) After you write your letter or make your phone call, let us know that you did and share your reflections with us. We are thinking more about how the ISLC Community can be engaged in advocacy and work around this issue and we would love to hear from you. (Send me an e-mail at Natalie@SaintAgnesSF.com or give me a call 415-487-8560 x225)
Let us offer this prayer from James Martin, SJ:
I come before you,
after another shooting...
I am sad over the loss of life,
tired of excuses for the loss of life,
and angry that we are paralyzed by the loss of life.
Turn my sadness into compassion.
Turn my tiredness into advocacy.
Turn my paralysis into the freedom to act.
(For full text of Jim Martin, SJ's prayer, Click Here)
As we gather at the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center this month (see our full calendar HERE), we know and trust that the Holy Spirit will give us the wisdom, courage and ingenuity to love the world and work for justice.
With Peace & In Solidarity,