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The Important Lessons of 911 by John Horvat II

 

On the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it is fitting that we reflect on what has changed in America.

 

Of course, no one doubts that 9/11 was a defining point in our history. All remember where they were on that fateful day. However, we would venture to say that 9/11 was more than just a shocking physical attack on our homeland. It was a symbolic attack on our way of life. It was also a rude awakening that served to shake us from an optimistic hedonistic vision of life that is the product of our Hollywood-driven culture.

 

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Lessons learned

In this sense, there were many lessons that we learned from the attacks. We were forced to confront reality head on and question this false vision of life. Contrary to the sentimental notion that all men are basically good, we found ourselves facing evil, irrational men capable of cold-blooded murder on a grand scale. Contrary to our relying on technology to solve all our problems, we found our technological advantage could not deliver us from this evil.

Our technology not only failed but they used it against us by slamming our own jets into the World Trade Center using low-tech $5 box cutters as weapons.

Shaken from a hedonistic way of life, we found ourselves facing evil and what it is capable of.  We were forced to endure enormous suffering in a culture that does everything to deny suffering and tries to make everything end “happily ever after.” Finally and most importantly, we were invited to turn to God for solace and strength in our suffering.

We learned all these lessons from the attacks and we do not hesitate to say that we took them to heart. America did not become discouraged but rose to the occasion in a show of strength and unity that disconcerted the enemy. 

 

The "Tribute in Light" memorial in rememberance of the tragic 9/11. USAF photo by Denise GouldThe American reaction

In an impressive display of patriotism, American youth enlisted in the armed services often sacrificing promising careers to fight for our country. Contrary to our hedonistic culture, these valiant soldiers fought with great sacrifice, endured great hardship and inspired admiration and respect. Our armed forces deserve the gratitude of our nation.

In fact, all Americans participated in this same generosity and idealism by their support of these efforts. We believe Providence cannot but look with favor on this spirit of generosity, idealism and self-sacrifice. Indeed, when men put grand causes before their own self-interest, it opens the way for God’s grace to work.

On this anniversary, we remember all these things.

However, we must also realize that the fight is not over. The Islamist threat is still there as can be seen by the increasing persecution of Christians worldwide. Perhaps more disconcerting are those who would minimize the notion of this threat in the name of political correctness.

Thus, on this September 11, all Americans are invited to remember those who tragically died and take to heart the lessons we have learned. However, we are also invited to embrace the cross and press the attack.  

 

 


 

 

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 14, 2020

You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or...

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July 14

 

You cannot be
half a saint;
you must be a whole saint
or no saint at all.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Kateri stood before the church until it opened at four o’c...

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St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Tekakwitha, baptized Kateri, “The Lily of the Mohawks” was born in 1656 near the town of Auriesville, New York, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior, and a captured, Christian Algonquin woman, Tagaskouita.

Between 1661 and 1663 a small pox epidemic afflicted Kateri’s tribe. Both her parents and her brother died, and though also contracting the disease, she survived though her face was left scared and her eyesight affected. She was adopted by a paternal aunt and her husband, a chief.

At seventeen the young Mohawk girl turned down an offer of marriage, and though pressed, still refused.

Under the influence of missionary priests introduced into her tribe after the Mohawks were defeated by the French, Kateri converted to Catholicism at eighteen, and was baptized when twenty. Members of her tribe were hostile to her by reason of her Faith, but she persevered.

The Jesuit missionaries described Tekakwitha as a modest girl who covered most of her head with a blanket because of her scars.

In 1677 Kateri moved to the new Christian colony of Indians in Canada under the direction of Jesuit fathers where she found peace. There, she lived a life dedicated to prayer, penance and the care of the sick and the aged.

Every morning, even in the bitterest cold, young Kateri stood before the church until it opened at four o’clock. Once inside, she attended every Mass, her greatest devotions being the Eucharist and Christ Crucified. She undertook severe penances, seeking to mortify her flesh so as to help her soul reach union with her beloved God.

In the Lent of 1680 friends noticed that Kateri was failing. She died on Wednesday of Holy Week around three o’clock. Her last words were, “Jesus, I love You.”

As she lay still in death, those around her noticed that her scars had disappeared and her face was white and beautiful.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Kateri Tekakwitha on October 21, 2012.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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