Hope Tragedy Doesn't Generate "New Prejudice or Violence"

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 20, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The bishops of Korea have expressed their condolences to the American people in the wake of the 32 slayings at Virginia Tech by a native-born Korean.

In a letter sent to Bishop William Skylstad, president of the U.S. episcopal conference, Bishop John Chang Yik of Chuchchon says: "In the name of all our Catholics, we the bishops of Korea wish to express our profound shock and sorrow at the tragic event at Virginia Tech University.

"We ask you kindly to convey our heartfelt condolence and prayers for all the innocent young victims and the wounded, to their families and dear ones, and indeed to all the good people of the United States at this hour of their deep grief."

The 23-year-old killer, Cho Seung-Hui, moved to the United States from South Korea when he was eight. He was also a Virginia Tech student and had a history of mental problems.

"We are particularly pained, as Koreans ourselves, to learn that this incomprehensible, dreadful act of violence was committed by a Korean student," wrote Bishop Chang, who is the president of the Korean episcopal conference.

He added: "But we sincerely hope also that this tragedy does not generate new prejudice or violence among people, but rather be an occasion for all of us today to reflect anew on the suffering of our neighbors and the supreme dignity and value of human life.

"We also hope it moves us to look with a caring heart whether people around us live in isolation and desperation, and embrace them with brotherly love.

"May the risen Lord who vanquished death itself on the cross grant his gift of life and true peace to all the afflicted, as we entrust them to his infinite mercy."

Response

Bishop Skylstad replied, assuring the Korean prelates of his gratitude: "On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I want to thank you for your expression of solidarity regarding the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech.

"We share your 'profound shock and sorrow' and join you in prayer for the victims of this terrible tragedy. I am sure that your kind expression of condolence and prayer will help to bring healing to our people.

"I am sharing your message with His Excellency Francis X. DiLorenzo, the Bishop of Richmond, in whose diocese these terrible events unfolded, and will also share it with the wider community in the United States as we grieve this loss."

Code: ZE07042015

Date: 2007-04-20


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder