We commemorate today the 16th anniversary of one of the darkest days of the United States of America. When this tragedy happened, I was distributing communion to the homebound, just after my 9 AM Mass at St Stanislaus, Pleasant Valley, NY. The following week, I placed in our parish Bulletin this image of the Blessed Mother and Jesus replacing the Twin Towers, and it’s been a source of consolation to many people who reflected on this image which I designed with the help of an artist parishioner at that time. I offer also today this prayer I placed along with this image:
We pray today that from the ashes will rise a new spirit of beauty and unity in America. Already, all across this nation our hearts have been knit together into a new tapestry of one America. Because of this tragedy, we have been bound together by a silver chord of hope and brotherhood and sisterhood. What was meant to drive us apart has really drawn us together. May we always remember. And so today we ask, God, that you would wipe the tears of all in need of comfort. That you would warm the heart of one who would grow cold from bitterness. That you would lift the head of that one who is bowed down in sadness. That you would touch the discouraged and remind them that love will always conquer hate. We thank you, God, for making us such a resilient people. We know that we are. And we pray now for the strength to continue to rise again, to build again, and to live free from fear. We pray that you will help us rebuild our broken lives and mend our broken hearts. We pray that you will give us the courage to face evil and the faith to believe that good will never be defeated. Hold us close to your heart. And through our tears, and through our sorrow, may we all see a new vision of a new tomorrow. Bless us all and God bless America.