I do not have any magic answers to why bad things happen to good people. I believe that the Divine Spirit dwells within us, loves through us, encourages and embraces others through us.
Each of us is the dwelling place of God, a temple of God's Spirit.
This means that the same spiritual power that was within Jesus is within each of us. Jesus said if you want to move a mountain, then tell the mountain to move. We can experience the spiritual power of Divinity within us.
Every time we pray, we experience the flow of the Spirit within us, we can tap into the spiritual energy within us to heal and bless ourselves and others. Every time we pray for others, Christ's love is being released in our world. As we pray and love one another, we grow more deeply in consciousness of our oneness with the Holy One and with our sisters and brothers. We grow in compassion and oneness in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who suffer. We become present to their suffering without being able to take away their pain or grief.
How do you pray in situations like this? I think the best advice is to let the Spirit pray within you. This could mean, let the Spirit weep within you for loss of innocent lives.
The early church practice of praying in "tongues" -which people who belong to Charismatic churches or prayer groups are familiar - may be one approach to try. My friend and co-founder of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, Jack Duffy prays in "tongues" and shares encouraging words, prophetic utterances with our community on a regular basis when he is able to attend our liturgies in Sarasota, Florida.
I used this powerful prayer of praise as a member of a prayer community for many years.
Theologian Krister Srendhal, former dean of Harvard Divinity School define praying in tongues, also known as Glossolalia as a facet of what I like to see as high voltage religion. It is obvious to me that to some people and in some situations, the experience of God is so overwhelming that charismatic phenomena are the 'natural' expression. In the history of religious and of the church there is an honorable place for ecstasy. Who said that only rational words or silence would be prayer?" (Paul Smith, Integral Christianity, p. 130)
So, whether you pray in tongues or in silence, it does not matter. Pray as you can and the Spirit of love within you will be released to heal and transform your heart and will touch those you are praying for and weeping with in their loss and grief.
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org