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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 August 3, 2021

Jesus who cannot suffer long to keep you in affliction will...

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August 3

 

Jesus who cannot suffer long to keep you in affliction
will come to relieve and comfort you
by infusing fresh courage into your soul.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Waltheof of Melrose

He strove so greatly for perfection that his confessors ofte...

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St. Waltheof of Melrose

Waltheof was born of English nobility. The son of Simon, the Earl of Huntingdon, and Maud, the grand-niece of William the Conqueror, he was also the grandson of Saint Waldef of Northumbria. As a child, Waltheof felt drawn to churches and the religious life. Following his father's death, he, and his mother and brother moved to Scotland where Maud married King David I. As part of the royal court, he was educated and became a spiritual student of St. Aelred.

Following his long-held inclination to contemplation and desiring to dedicate himself entirely to God, Waltheof left Scotland and traveled to Yorkshire to join the Augustinian Canons at the monastery at Nostell. He was soon chosen as prior, and led the monks in a more austere rule. Some time later, Waltheof left Nostell for the more austere life of the Cistercian monks.
Four years after receiving the Cistercian habit, he was nominated as abbot of Melrose, a newly established monastery. Then, in 1154, he was chosen as the new Archbishop of St. Andrews, but in his humility, he begged St. Aelred to oppose the election and not oblige him to accept.

Waltheof died in 1160 of old age. It has been said that he strove so greatly for perfection, that his confessors often found him irksome.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by h...

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The Virgin Mary Rewards a Bandit

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways. Bandits plagued travelers and made their living by depriving others of their goods and often their very lives.

A young woman in the Papal States, who was very devout towards Mary, met in a certain place a chief of the bandits. Fearing some outrage, she implored him, for love of the most holy Virgin, not to molest her.

"Do not fear," he answered, "for you have prayed me in the name of the mother of God; and I only ask you to recommend me to her." Moved by the woman’s mention of the Blessed Virgin, the bandit accompanied her himself along the road to a place of safety.

The following night, Mary appeared in a dream to the bandit. She thanked him for the act of kindness he had performed for love of her. Mary went on to say that she would remember it and would one day reward him.

The robber, at length, was arrested, and condemned to death. But behold, the night previous to his execution, the blessed Virgin visited him again in a dream, and first asked him: "Do you know who I am?"

He answered, "It seems to me I have seen you before."

"I am the Virgin Mary," she continued, "and I have come to reward you for what you have done for me. You will die tomorrow, but you will die with so much contrition that you will come at once to paradise."

The convict awoke, and felt such contrition for his sins that he began to weep bitterly, all the while giving thanks aloud to our Blessed Lady. He asked immediately for a priest, to whom he made his confession with many tears, relating the vision he had seen. Finally, he asked the priest to make public this grace that had been bestowed on him by Mary.

He went joyfully to his execution, after which, as it is related, his countenance was so peaceful and so happy that all who saw him believed that the promise of the heavenly mother had been fulfilled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways.