I see that Fr. Tim has already posted on today's atrocity in Woolwich, and wish to join my prayers with his, not least because I was born in the town, and naturally feel some attachment to the place:-
First for the soul of the victim,
Requiem aeternum dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei: requiescat in pace. Amen.
Secondly that this does not spawn a new wave of violence in the town, which has just completed a period of rebuilding and settling after the riots of summer 2011.
Thirdly for our brethren of the Muslim faith living in the area, who claim the same God as we Christians, that they do not become victimised for the sake of a few whose beliefs and actions are far from typical of mainstream Islam.
Finally, to commend those who perpetrated the outrage. I cannot comment on the state of their souls, or their ultimate fate - I am not God. What I do know is that their souls have been seriously damaged by this action and are in dire risk, and that this is not the outcome that God made them for, even though His justice may mean that they are ultimately lost. What I also know is that I would sin against holy Charity were I to deliberately wish any soul to eternal damnation, the enormity of which we cannot begin to contemplate.Our Lord also told us to pray for our enemies. I therefore pray that God may find a way for them to acknowledge and repent of their sins, and ultimately return to Him.
These must surely be among the souls for whom Our Lady of Fatima asked our prayers when she requested the petition that many of us add to the decades of the Rosary:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy Mercy.
Not an easy thing to hear about, especially when it has occurred close to home, and within the octave of Pentecost, when we have just been recalling the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, to which today's events bear such a contrast.
Sancta Maria, Regina pacis, Ora pro nobis.
O Mary! O Mother! Reign o'er us once more. Be England thy 'Dowry' as in days of yore.