Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11th

I was at St. Paul Seminary. The community had done either morning prayer or mass, to be honest I can't remember which. I do remember remaining after to pray in the small Eucharistic reservation chapel for my holy hour and emerging to see a television on NBC news on the front desk of the receptionist area. That was unusual, I walked over to find out why. I learned about the first plane and walked up to my room while the second plane hit World Trade Center 2. I remember that my immediate affective response was anger. I remember wishing that I could watch more but knowing that I had to get assignments done. Of course, being in St. Paul, there were fears that someone would attack local targets as well. Mall of America? The Minnesota State Capital building? One of the massive Catholic buildings (Cathedral or Basilica)?

Fear is a transforming force in our lives. It makes us act in ways that we normally wouldn't. We take on more of our base, animal instincts when we are afraid. When we look at Christ, we see someone who wasn't afraid and wasn't going to motivate people by fear. He was going to motivate people by trust, the kind of trust we have for a devoted, loving parent.

As we remember September 11th, let us keep in mind that the point of terrorism is to create fear, to change people's lives by making them afraid. As Christians, we aren't naive enough to believe there is nothing to be afraid of. There is. And there always will be. But, we hear the post-resurrection voice of Christ calling us not to be afraid because we know that, regardless of what happens, our God has walked this path before and he walks it with us now.

It is in suffering that we, ourselves, become most like God.

1 comment:

Adoro te Devote said...


I was a firefighter cadet on September 11, 2001, local to you at that time. (I'm not giving the city...not on my blog or in comboxes). In any case, I can tell you that they considered releasing us that day, but as we were in our final weeks of training, they kept us on in the event a local attack were to occur...for all practical purposes, we were firefighters and they would call us into service.

A few years ago I wrote the following post, and reposted it this year:

I'll never forget that day...the uniform made it personal, the ongoing tragedy made it real.

And I think we too often forget that it didn't just involve us as Americans, but people from 90 countries. It was an attack against the world.