My heart goes out to the friends and family of the shooting victims at Virginia Tech. One of my colleagues does her research on public tragedy and the grieving process, particularly at universities. I can't imagine how I would feel if some of my students or friends were injured or killed in such a way. I was shocked when a colleague was injured in a bad car accident a month ago, and that is nowhere near the scale of the Virginia Tech shootings.
There have been several prayers on various religious blogs I read: the Admiral's and Father Jake's are particularly eloquent. I just finished reading Anne Lamott's latest book, Grace (evenutally). One of the main points is the difficulty but necessity of forgiving those who sin against us. It is maddening to admit our own errors against others when they won't admit the same. It is painful to acknowledge that people who do horrible things are God's beloved creatures. It is frightening to open up our hearts to those who have wronged us, as they could hurt us again. But it is also necessary, if we are to build the world God intends, if we are to live a life of grace.
I pray with the Admiral that the gunman is judged mercifully by God, and that his living victims can find forgiveness in their hearts.