Today at Mass, instead of a homily, Father led us in praying a decade of the Rosary. This is in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut on Friday, which has left our nation reeling with shock and grief. Father talked about how sometimes the rote, memorized prayers can serve us best, giving a place for our hearts to cry out and to rest when there are simply no words. I read a list of the victims' names today, among them 20 first grade students. Seeing the names makes this tragedy so much more real and personal. I can think of no better way to pray than to Jesus through our spiritual Mother on the beads of the Holy Rosary. In a crisis we turn to our mothers, and I understand a little better now why Jesus shares his own Mother with us. She understands this deep sorrow most of all. Blessed be these little ones who have inherited the kingdom of heaven. Blessed be the heroes who gave their lives to save them. Bless their families and the broken heart of this country. Lord we pray, help us heal, help us to understand, help us to trust in your mercy. Grant us your grace through our Blessed Mother Mary. Amen.