This Sunday marks the twenty-first anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many paused recently to focus on the events of that day. We as a nation recall the tragic deaths and injuries that occurred at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We also acknowledge the dangers and violence in our unstable world that continue to confront us. Evidence of the dangers and violence can be seen in our news media on a regular basis.
Commenting on the tragedy commonly referred to as “9/11”, as previously noted, the United States Catholic Bishops stated, “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 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, and in its aftermath. We are also provided with the opportunity to explain to some of our young people, who were not with us at that time, about the dedication and sacrifices of so many.
The following “9/11 PRAYER” asks Our Heavenly Father to guide and bless us as we continue to cope with the impact of that horrific day:
Father of mercy and compassion,
On this 21st anniversary of 9/11, we ask You to bless all who still grieve the losses of that horrific day and all who continue to struggle with issues of health and wellness in the aftermath. While we can rebuild buildings that are damaged, only You, dear Lord, can restore hearts that are broken.
Strengthen our faith, dear Lord, so that we may continue to believe that death is not the last word. Strengthen our hope, dear Father, that we shall all someday stand together in the glory of Your Kingdom.
Deepen our love, dear Lord, that we may never allow evil or terrorism to bring darkness to our hearts; sustain us in our efforts to conquer all evil with acts of loving goodness.
We ask all of this in the name of Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to 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.