Thursday, September 11, 2014

The 13th Anniversary: September 11, 2014

By Rev. Paul Berghout*

“To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  Luke 6:27-31

Weep not for what you have lost, fight for what you have.
Weep not for what is dead, fight for what was born in you.
Weep not for the one who abandoned you, fight for who is with you.
Weep not for those who hate you, fight for those who want you.
Weep not for your past, fight for your present struggle.
Weep not for your suffering, fight for your happiness.
With things that are happening to us, we begin to learn that nothing is impossible to solve, just move forward.

As we remember the 13th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 that took place in New York, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA, we reverently recall those who died, were injured or lost loved ones and are mourning today and maybe participating in a Memorial and Remembrance Service or an Annual Interfaith Memorial Service.

Some 9-11 thoughts I read addresses those who were injured and those who mourn, and what prayer can do.  For example, in James 5:16 we learn, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Experiences that overwhelm our coping ability can be described as potentially traumatic. Some people may even develop Posttraumatic Stress disorder.
There is a book on stress that sold about 100,000 copies in print now in a third edition (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers). However, many of the reviewers of the book commented that after reading through all the chapters on how stress can wreak havoc to our body, you don't actually get a lot of materials on how you can counter them. For example, where is the “Stress Reduction Kit?”  Bang Head Here. No.  Rather realize that Angels walk with those who grieve.

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. What is being mourned is ‘the loss’ and one’s own vulnerability.

Let us mourn for those who have perished and grieve with their loved ones who mourn their loss. Let us acknowledge the evil which has wounded our nation.
In our mourning, Our Lord, who is the great comforter, is truly present to us. But we do not grieve like those who have no hope. We grieve with the knowledge that neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God. His abundant love is our consolation. The grounds for this hope do not lie in the facts of harsh reality but rather in our faith—the meaning we ascribe to reality. 

Look at Mary:
The Blessed Virgin Mary is “origo mundi melioris”—the beginning of a better world. She was present at the trauma event of all time, and forgave like Christ and she wanted to even feel the pain to alleviate the pain of her Son. Forgiveness is a process that can’t be rushed but healing can’t happen without it.

What can we do?

Group work is best—helping other victims. But one does so at risk of starting the uninvited intrusive thoughts to return and the tyranny of imagination. Developing awareness of specific and individual needs—welcome and unwelcome—is critical to empowering oneself. One needs to elicit loving memories and manage the stress of intrusive reminders.

Pray and help the dead.

For example, from the current Knights of Columbus magazine, “…the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec (St. André Bessette’s parish) recently got a massive bronze door commissioned for the 350th anniversary of the historic parish. Since Holy Doors are open only during a holy year or a jubilee, passing through one is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people. Authorized by the Vatican, there are only seven Holy Doors in the world. The others are at the four major basilicas in Rome; in Ars, France; and at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Pilgrims who pass through the Holy Door during a jubilee year may receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, including confession, reception of Communion and detachment from sin.

In Quebec, in addition to visiting and gaining the indulgence for themselves, many pilgrims have carried others spiritually with them, helping souls in purgatory find their way to heaven. One prominent example occurred earlier this year after a devastating fire ravaged Résidence du Havre, an elderly housing complex in L’Isle Verte, on Jan. 23, claiming the lives of 32 senior citizens. In March, a group of pilgrims each held one of the victims in his or her heart while passing through the Holy Door — a moving tribute to those lost in the tragedy.

We can do the same for someone who died in the events of 9-11.

What’s a plenary indulgence? Look them up on the internet.
Plenary Indulgence: Devout meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary while piously reciting prayers at a Presidium meeting of the Legion of Mary (an association of the faithful). Or, pray a rosary in family, or any time the members of the faith gather to pray a rosary (Grant 17,1.1) 

*An earlier version of this was posted to Facebook by Fr. Paul. 

No comments: