Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 Thoughts

9/11.

Fourteen years on.

So much to ponder.

I remain grateful for first responders: police, fire, EMT.  They are still the people who run towards the dangerous situations when the rest of us flee to safety.  It's sad how thankless the job seems to be, especially these days. Not for me, though, and I ask God's blessing upon them as they put their lives on the line for me.

I'm grateful for our military members.  While the citizenry seems to be appreciative of the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families, our elected officials (in multiple countries) have made a mess of the world in so many ways that seem to de-value or undermine the work that has been done, militarily.  You won't catch me naming names here, for I've grown beyond annoyed with both political parties.  Suffice it to say, I believe politics clouds their judgement all too often.  I pray for the safety of our military.  I pray for common sense and integrity to descend upon our elected officials.

I consider the state of the world since 9/11.  At times, I despair over the impossibility of fixing the messes in the world.  At other times, I remember that this is the state of the world and each generation has its own mess.  I take comfort from my favorite quote by JRR Tolkien:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
I do not want to comment very much on the current crises facing the world, except to say I have never seen Christians so polarized as to how to face the crises.  If I had to sum up the differences, I'd say that one camp is thinking only with their heartstrings, of families fleeing horrid situations . . . and the other camp is thinking only with fear, of terrorists streaming in with the refugees.  Both camps are right, actually!  Talk to each other.  Pray for inspiration.  Wise as serpents, innocent as doves.  It is only by God's grace that anything will be solved.  When I think of how ill-equipped our elected officials seem to be, Psalm 146 comes to mind.

Because I am similarly ill-equipped at knowing how to solve the woes of the world, my prayer for the anniversary of 9/11 is not a common one for this day.  Today, my prayer is the Litany of Humility.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I,
 provided that I may become as holy as I should…

God Bless, friends!

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