Re-Thinking the “Prayer for Days of Terrorist Attacks, Mass-Shootings, and other Human-Made Catastrophes,” after Istanbul

I have been wondering all day long whether to re-post the “Prayer for Days of Terrorist Attacks, Mass-Shootings, and other Human-Made Catastrophes” which I wrote after the attacks in Bruxelles, Belgium, earlier this year.  Pray Tell re-posted this prayer in response to the Orlando massacre a couple of weeks ago.  Now there is Istanbul.  And there had been other calamities in between.  Probably, the next terrorist attacks, mass shootings, and human-made catastrophes are around the corner, and in the making.  What to do, with this prayer?  First, I do not want to have to adjudicate, with every terrible news, whether the latest one “merits” posting the prayer.  Second, I clearly was wrong when I thought this prayer was for extraordinary occasions, to be prayed quite infrequently.  In fact, it is fast becoming a routine prayer.  Third, given the contemporary flow of media (and what is privileges), I am sure there are terrorist attacks, mass-shootings, and other human-made catastrophes around the globe that people like me never hear about.

Altogether, I think I might pray this prayer almost routinely, and entrust the details to our all-knowing, all-compassionate God.


  1. Teresa, the problem is its form, imho.

    You’ve composed an oration. Clearly what is needed is a litany. To which new massacres may be added as they come in.

    The litanic form can also include asking forgiveness of our own collective support for or indifference to violent deaths on other shores.

  2. Interesting thought, Rita. Why don’t you give writing a litany a try?
    I remember writing one after the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2014, in response to that catastrophe.
    But that form of a litany did not call out to me, as the words for the prayer after Bruxelles formed themselves in me.

  3. Was this done in a hurry? look at the title: ” after Instanbul”.
    The perils of haste I suspect.

    1. @Peter Haydon:
      Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Peter.
      I usually don’t write and post in haste. I am committed to slow living, the spiritual side included.
      I think the mistake in spelling was more a case of being in anguish — and thus more focused on getting the content down rather than the spelling. That said, I intensely dislike spelling mistakes, so I am glad you caught this one. I will correct my mistake,

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