The Question of Evil

I was going to do Quick Takes today, but then I heard the news about the school shooting.

My father is an assistant principal at an elementary school in New Town, North Dakota. The first news story I saw today said something about a school shooting in Newtown and that the principal had been killed. My heart just about stopped until I read further and it said Connecticut. I cried tears of relief, but also horror.

My mother is a teacher, too. So is my stepsister. I have aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends who are teachers.  I have a daughter in elementary school and a son who starts kindergarten next year. I hope to God I never get a call like the one so many people -- too many people -- received today.

I can't fathom this evil. I just can't understand it. I suppose I should be grateful I can't. All I can do is pray, pray, pray for everyone involved.

A Prayer To The Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.

Holy Innocents, you were killed because one man was filled with hatred, pray for those who hate that God may touch their hearts and fill them with love.

Holy Innocents, you experienced a violent death, pray for all who are affected by violence that they may find peace and love.

Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.

Holy Innocents, those around you certainly felt helpless to prevent your deaths, pray for all who feel helpless in their circumstances that they may cling to God for courage and hope.

Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us that one day we may join you there to bask in God's love forever.


Catechism of the Catholic Church, #309:

If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.


  1. Thanks JoAnna. Great prayer and CCC excerpt. No doubt that issue will surface soon.

  2. Wonderful post, Joanna. My heart breaks for all the families, and all the children and staff members who were spared and are left to deal with the trauma and grief. :( Prayers for all of them.


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