On this day, the World Day of Prayer for Peace is sponsored by the Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus. The Knights invite us to “…pray that religion will be a means of peace and accord and not an excuse for violence and division.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated, “It is wrong to use religion as a cover for political, economic or ideological causes. It compounds the wrong when extremists of any religious tradition radically distort their professed faith in order to justify violence and hatred. Whatever the motivation, there can be no religious or moral justification for what happened on September 11. People of all faiths must be united in the conviction that terrorism in the name of religion profanes religion.”
Our Bishops also remind us that, “After September 11, we are a wounded people. We share loss and pain, anger and fear, shock and determination in the face of these attacks on our nation and our humanity. We also honor the selflessness of firefighters, police, chaplains, and other brave individuals who gave their lives in the service of others. They are true heroes and heroines.”
As we reflect on these words of our bishops, this day of prayer helps us to remember not only the events of that tragic day, but also reminds us of the dangers that continue to confront us in an unstable world. As Catholics, we are challenged to respond in faith to the pressing concerns of our brothers and sisters in need, and to remember in a special way all those who suffered in some way on that fateful day of September 11, 2001. We continue to pray for our men and women in uniform who defend our freedoms, especially those serving in the Middle East. We pray for their families and the military chaplains who assist them. We are also invited to pray for peace among nations. We continue to ask for the special intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace, as we pray for peace in our world, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts.
Gratefully Yours in Christ,