This weekend marks the 20th Anniversary of 9-11. One of my most vivid memories is of how scared we were, and how much this day shattered our illusions of safety. I was stationed at All Saints in Manassas, the pastor was away, and being all of 4 years ordained I was the ‘senior priest’ in the parish! The staff turned to me and asked, “what do we do?” I said the only thing I could think of, “we pray.” We immediately scheduled an evening Mass that was packed to standing room only. Afterwards, most folks stood around, lingering for a long time, talking to one another. We all were turning to God for help and reassurance.
In a moment of divine providence, the very next morning the Magnificat Missalette had this quote from Walter Ciszek (a Jesuit author and possibly ‘saint-to-be’) that captured this perfectly:
“How easy it is…for us to become dependent on our routines…Friends and possessions surround us…It is the status quo that carries us from day to day…. We begin to lose sight of the fact that behind all these things it is God who sustains us. We go along, taking for granted that tomorrow will be very much like today, comfortable in the world we created for ourselves…and give little thought to God. Somehow, then, God must contrive to break through those routines and remind us once again that we are ultimately dependent only upon Him…that His we are; and that we must look to him and turn to him in everything. Then it is, perhaps, that He must allow our whole world to be turned upside down in order to remind us it is not our permanent abode or final destiny, to bring us to our senses and restore our sense of values, to turn our thoughts once more to Him.”
How can we make sense of evil? Only by firmly believing that God can bring good from all things for those who love him. If He allows us to suffer something, He has a plan to bring good from it. May this be a day of fervent prayer for those who died, for those who mourn, and for true peace in the world.
Father John Mosimann