Spiritual Answers to Evil Tragedies

Spiritual Answers to Evil Tragedies

Once more, we have another terrible shooting in the news.  Again, this shooting tragedy has raised the same line of questions:  Did the authorities do what they could to prevent it?  Is it the fault of gun laws?  Was the shooter mentally-ill?  What was the motive behind this mass shooting? 

No answer to those questions is sufficient, just as saying Hitler was a criminal or Jack the Ripper was cunning.  Ultimately, this world fails to explain the horror of the situation, so it leaves the consumer of media searching hopelessly for answers from the talking heads. In our Faith, there is an answer that is sufficient - the supernatural psychopath called “the evil one”.  One who hates God and goodness so much that the only way he can seek vengeance is to corrupt and destroy God's very creation, especially that of humanity. One that takes great pleasure in wounding our Lord by dragging us down like animals to the eternal fires of hell.

Many people will see my words as a foolish and an unnecessary leap to religion, preferring to rely solely on explanations in nature and the sciences. All one needs to do is to see the results of the killer's own actions of slaughtering innocent people as if they were less than common animals. Only the devil’s influence on a person’s mind and spirit could cause someone to commit such evil acts on other human beings. All by the spirit of this world as controlled by the evil one in deceiving hearts and minds from the central truth of God as our Faith teaches - that all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity because each of us we were created in the image of God.

Rather than merely looking to point fingers, we need to pray for the soul of the shooter and for all those who he murdered. Pray also for all those who were wounded and had witnessed this traumatic shooting and for all the friends and family members connected to this tragedy.

While broken homes and minds certainly play a role in this and other similar traumatic events, the fundamental solution to this slaughter and other mass murders lies in the Holy Spirit, not the spirit of the world.

Only hope in Christ and His Church can provide any real and lasting solace. We need to urgently seek the Lord in prayer to awaken hearts and minds.  Only He can heal the wounds of the soul, form and drive the conscience, forgive our failings, nurture us in the Sacraments, provide us with the communion of an infinite spiritual family, and morally guide us.

Those are the only real antidotes to this culture of death.


Jason B Miller, Ph.D., M.P.A is a psychologist in Santa Paula, California.  Dr. Jason Miller provides a wide range of cognitive-behavioral therapies, psychological assessments and evaluations that integrate the Catholic faith with sound clinical practice.  View his Profile for more information about his psychological services.

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