Prayer

This morning I attended another minute of silence, this time for those who died and who are currently suffering from the devastation of Grenfell Tower in London. As I stood in the little shop (Rainbow Apothecary) with Claire and a new shop assistant (sorry, I didn’t catch her name) I opened my soul out towards those who have been devastated by this latest tragedy. I could feel a wave of grief, rolling across this nation, across all these islands as yet more lives have been lost, this time due to utter negligence. The anger that was felt on Friday night as people took to the streets was muted, and here was a space for quiet mourning, for healing and for prayers.

I also thought of the man who was killed outside of the mosque at Finsbury Park last night, as a man in a van drove up the pavement and started hitting people, with an agenda that he stated which was to “kill all Muslims”. I pray for strength for his family, and for those who are in hospital, and for the human spirit to be healed, so that terrible events like these stop happening in this country, or in any country.

I prayed for those in Portugal, whose homes and lives have been destroyed by forest fires. I prayed for the 17 year old girl in the US who was killed on her way home from the mosque. I pray for the 65.6 million people were displaced in 2016, (more than the population of Britain, and half of them children), and even more this year.

I prayed for all who are suffering.

I prayed to My Lady for healing for all those affected by disaster. I prayed to those who are still looking for loved ones, who are in hospital, who are confused and don’t know where to turn. May they find the help that they need, and may they find strength for the coming days. I prayed to My Lord to help guide souls across, who may be wandering in the devastation and ruin. Most of all, I prayed for peace.

Prayer and silence are necessary, for the emotions and trauma of the events to find a place within your soul, a place where they can be felt and expressed with understanding and respect.

May there be peace in our hearts and minds, and towards all fellow beings.

 

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Art of Death Row

My “day job” is working for one of the world’s leading artistic centres and concert halls – I work in the marketing and PR department. I’ve been working there since 2008, and have seen experienced a lot of art in various media. This year as part of the visual arts exhibit that complements the music festival that is currently underway, we have some paintings that I walk past every day. These paintings make me uncomfortable.

The subject of these works is the last meal of various prisoners on death row before their execution in the USA. It is an extremely intimate glimpse into the person behind the prisoner. It shows their humanity, their desires, their need for nourishment and what makes them happy in that context. The fact that it is on public display, however, and for sale, makes me uncomfortable. Why?

On the one hand, if it wasn’t on public display I would never have seen them. On the other hand, I didn’t need to see them in order to have compassion for these human beings. I am completely against capital punishment. The fact that it might make people think about what is happening in so-called First World countries regarding life and death is probably a good thing. And I realise that artists need to eat to, hence the fact that they are for sale. But for every person that doesn’t “get it”, that laughs at the absurd combinations these people have chosen without knowing why: does this trivialise, as well as capitalise the suffering and deaths of human beings? Does it de-sensitise us even further? Or does it raise an awareness of the de-sensitisation that we are experiencing in modern society?

I don’t have any answers. All I know is that every time I walk past them, I feel an ache in my heart and an unease, as well as a wellspring of compassion for all humanity who are in this together.