On this anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, I share a prayer from my friend Susan, aka The Ironic Catholic. May we always pray that our hearts will be rid of hatred and so become more like Christ, the Prince of Peace. Those of you who knew me as a young priest serving at Sacred Heart Cathedral know that during our prayer on the evening of September 11, 2001 I broke into tears while reading the story of Cain and Abel. My tears were not only a response to those who lost their life that day, but for all who I knew would also lose their life as our country responded in fear to the terrible thing that had just happened. May we remember today, all the victims of this act of hatred.
Good afternoon, all. I wrote this prayer, but I wrote it after meditating a bit on Lamentations ch 3, in honor of the anniversary of 9-11. Some of the lines are directly from that scripture. One of the lines is “It is good to hope in silence for the Lord’s deliverance,” but as Lasallians, we are more likely to say:
and a spirit of kindness to listen even to those with whom we disagree. We ask that you help us respect the dignity of every human life through the students and colleagues we encounter.
And especially on this anniversary of the deaths of thousands in Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New York City, we hear those wounded by this event chant with your scripture:
My life is deprived of peace,
I have forgotten what happiness is;
…The thought of my wretched homelessness
is wormwood and poison;
Remembering it over and over,
my soul is downcast.
We ask that you rend our hearts to recognize again the fragility of life, to inspire us to practice compassion with all of us still wounded by this event, and to firm our resolve to work toward a society that recognizes violence is never the inevitable answer to any question. May you grant us peace, and may we be people of peace.
For as the writer of Lamentations helps us say on such a day:
The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope.
To sit alone and in silence,
when its weight lies heavy,
To put one’s mouth in the dust—*
there may yet be hope—
St John Baptiste de la Salle, –pray for us. Live Jesus in our hearts, –Forever.