It is a little difficult to get back into routine with our normal Monday posts on morality, after the Sunday morning shooting. I still need to digest the meaning and the scope of what happened, as do most of us who live here in the Orlando ambit. At this moment my wife and I are planning to attend this evening a memorial at our Cathedral of St. James in downtown, just a good walk from the scene of the early Sunday morning tragedy.
The moral considerations evolving from Sunday are immense and complicated, and you no doubt have heard much analysis already from any number of sources. The best I have seen so far comes from Frank Bruni of the New York Times, “The Scope of the Orlando Carnage.” I have great respect for those who, under pressure of time and trauma, can still produce thoughtful reflection. That is not my greatest gift, unfortunately, so I am grateful to folks like Frank.
I go to the memorial tonight with some apprehension, and not just because parking at our cathedral is a nightmare. The term “soft target” is running through my head, and the Orlando Police have discouraged memorials because the force is worn out and overextended. That said, it seems like the decent thing to do, for many reasons.
Vigils for the Dead are not exactly sacraments, but for all practical purposes they can be the same thing. Sacraments are moments of intense communion with God in powerful communal human experience. I think it is safe to say that such divine encounters will happen, uniquely in the hearts of all who attend, including my own. So, I will be back here tomorrow to share with you the dynamic of grief and restoration in my own diocese.
The service is being streamed at 7 PM tonight (EDT) through this link.