We remember that God is always with us, and that he has a plan of love for creation and for everyone's life. And we ask the Father of creation to be near to his children who weep, to comfort those who mourn, to strengthen all of us to overcome evil with good and hatred with love.
So once again we are praying after a mass shooting in our country. We want to pray for the innocent victims in this latest attack, for their families and friends. We want to pray for the people of Orlando and all those in our country who are fearful for our future.
Our prayer, too, must be expressed in a renewed commitment to human dignity - to the core conviction that all life is precious. We need to insist that all people are made in God's image and have God-given dignity and rights - whether or not we agree with their beliefs or what they do with their lives.
Once again, we need to insist that violence can never be "sanctified," that the true and living God is not served by the shedding of innocent blood or forcing others to believe what we believe. We need to build a new culture of solidarity and generosity, a culture of dialogue. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by fear of others who don't look like us or pray like us.
In this new time of fear and uncertainty, I find that I am also praying harder for our brothers and sisters in Syria, Iraq and everywhere in the world where terror has now become a way of life, where the simple fact of being a Christian means people are persecuted and killed.
It is always tempting to take our faith for granted or to live as if Christianity has no enemies. But when we meet those Christians who are suffering and dying for their faith, when we hear their stories, we know that isn't true. Jesus said we should love our enemies. He never said we wouldn't have any.