World Trade Center "cross" 9/11/2001
Today we remember all those who lost their lives, and those families who lost loved ones in an attack on innocent lives. I recall that Tuesday morning in 2001 as if it were yesterday. My question now is the same as it was 15 years ago; how do I make sense from a senseless act?
I often write about the need for us to change our perspective, so I found this quote by Henri Nouwen, a renown spiritual author, quite enlightening:
This is not to say that we give up; but rather that we re-frame our expectations toward realistic goals such as peace within ourselves, our families, our communities. We are asked to accept and trust in God. A trust not always easy to come by in light of the realities of the suffering in our world. How can I trust in God through all that is happening around me?
In a book entitled "Franciscan Voices on 9/11", one of the contributors writes:
These quotes give me hope and encouragement. The wisdom of these writers encourage and challenge me to stop living in fear and sadness, rather, to take action to make a difference in our lives. We therefore need to challenge ourselves to find opportunities in our families and local community wherein we can bring about peace.
I am inspired by the then chaplain of the NYC Fire Department, Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, who arrived at the Twin Towers shortly after they were struck by airplanes, to minister to the needs of the first responders. Fr. Mychal lost his life when the ceiling of the lobby collapsed upon him, moments before the collapse of the Tower itself. A prayer, attributed to Fr. Mychal, sums up why he did what he did; risking his life for others, and the lesson I take away from that fateful day:
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