"As people of Christian faith, we know that evil and suffering will not have the last word," stated Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, as Americans reacted with horror and sadness to the violence unleashed at an Orlando club early Sunday morning that left at least 50 people dead and many more injured.

"The love of Jesus Christ will prevail. Thus, our hope and trust is in the Lord. Though it appears all too often that our civilization is walking through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil. The Lord is in our midst and he walks with us (Psalm 23:4)."

Cardinal Wuerl directed the faithful and other people of good will to pray for the dead, the injured and their families.

"Joined together in the Lord, recalling the promises of Christ, our first response is to think of those who have lost their lives in Orlando, and to pray that our heavenly Father now welcome them into the embrace of his loving arms. We pray also that God come to the aid of the wounded and help them to heal in body, mind and spirit.

"May the God of all mercy and compassion also touch the family and friends of those who have died and have been injured, together with the first responders and health care providers, and that they be given comfort and peace in this dark time. We ask as well that the Lord grant all of us the peace and stability that will enable us to live with each other without fear and anxiety, and with dignity and joy."

Before we return to the political debate on national security issues and gun violence, we need to pray. We pray for the  dead and the injured, for their grieving families, and for an entire civilization that "is walking through the valley of the shadow of death."

Jesus, Lord of Mercy, Pray for Us.