Even the “bad guys” need prayer….

This morning there were twenty-eight cards taped to the altar.  Each one, white with a green border, held the name of one of the victims of the Newtown tragedy.  Twenty children. Six teachers and staff.  And also the names of the gunman and his mother.

Father Moki explained “I wasn’t sure if I should include the gunman, and then I realized that his soul is in more need of prayer than any of the others.”

This week I learned that a former acquaintance of mine was charged and convicted of a felony. This person had also suffered the loss of a loved one earlier this year.  I had warned the person of the possibilities of both outcomes.  I was ignored at the time, and so I spent the week feeling a bit smug and self-righteous.

Father Moki’s words hit me where I needed to be hit.

The acquaintance has lost a dear one. Has lost a career. Is facing jail.

And is great need of my (our) prayers….not my smug smirking.