Sunday, September 11, 2011



Ten years ago today in the early morning, I was settling in for an hour of adoration at the chapel of the convent of the Dominican Sisters of St. Ceceilia in Nashville, TN. I was a postulant only 3 short weeks, having just entered in August. My postulant class was off at school. For some reason, I was the only postulant not scheduled for classes on Tuesdays, so, to take advantage of my free time, I joined the Novices in their special holy hour. After the hour was up, we made our way out of the chapel through the side door leading to the staircase that took us to the novitiate on the very top floor. A Sister was waiting for us on the other side of the doorway. It was Silence, but she broke it in a whisper, "We've been under attack this morning... the Twin Towers are gone." Coming out of an hour of contemplation, I was still trying to get used to the lighting in the hallway. I couldn't quite comprehend what Sister meant, it was stunning news. As we made our way up the stairs, she continued to tell us what had transpired while we were praying in the chapel. She went on to tell us that the Sisters in the infirmary called down to Mother General's office because they couldn't find the "The Price is Right" on their television sets. One of the retired Sisters told Mother that "the same thing is playing over and over on every channel." Mother went up to the Infirmary to investigate, and that's how she discovered that our country had been attacked. The Sisters in the convent that morning all gathered in prayer and watched as the events unfolded right before their eyes on live television. I was shawked and stunned at what was happening, and my first thoughts were to members of my own family who worked in places that could be possible targets of terrorists. I went back down to the chapel, and I prayed for my family. I also prayed for the country I loved so deeply, the victims of this outrage, and I found myself with a new sense of purpose as to why I was in the convent: to be a light in the darkness, even when it looked as if the darkness was winning...


This day ten years ago I was not going to Church at all nor living in a state of grace. When I saw what was happening on TV I thought something more along the lines of "Oh great here comes world war three" than of my own or others' salvation. Now, thanks be to God, I can pray for all those involved, those who died, those who lived and still bear the mental and physical scars, and even those who did this. All answers can be found in meditating on Christ's passion.

DS: I found today's readings at Mass very fitting and appropriate to this day. The First Reading in particular struck me as a warning to not be "vengeful."

Sirach 27: 30
30Anger and wrath, these also are abominations, and the sinful man will possess them.

Sirach 28: 1 - 9
1He that takes vengeance will suffer vengeance from the Lord, and he will firmly establish his sins.2Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.3Does a man harbor anger against another, and yet seek for healing from the Lord?4Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself, and yet pray for his own sins?5If he himself, being flesh, maintains wrath, who will make expiation for his sins?6Remember the end of your life, and cease from enmity, remember destruction and death, and be true to the commandments.7Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance.8Refrain from strife, and you will lessen sins; for a man given to anger will kindle strife,9and a sinful man will disturb friends and inject enmity among those who are at peace.

Then, we hear of God being the God of the "living and the dead."

Romans 14: 7 - 9
7None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.9For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

And finally, in today's Gospel is the story of the servant who receives mercy at the hands of his master, only to turn around and be unjust to another servant. Jesus tells us that the mercy we dish out is the mercy we will receive. Matthew 18:21-35

I know it is very difficult to hear, but many of us who hold grudges against mortal enemies, or keep people out of our lives need to re-think that situation. Today, of all days, God is asking us to forgive. There is nothing else that can be done about situations that wound or hurt us, so why not forgive? We will realize that it is in forgiving that we receive all the healing we need to mend those broken relationships and heal those wounds.

1 comment:

  1. Here in Poland, we remember too. May the 9/11 be a lesson of love for us all. God bless America!