Sunday, September 11, 2011


We are moving away from a time of reactive war response to the 9/11 hurt to our nation.   Praise the Lord, but don’t pass any more ammunition.  In war we’ve found only further hurt to ourselves, and inestimable damage to friend & foe alike in the theaters of war.
Our local Gannett paper today invites some soul searching on whether the world, or our community, is any better for our massive “war on terror.”  I sense the winds of real change, a break in the the cloud cover of war that's enveloped us.  But so much work lies ahead to end barriers that divide and hobble our nation.

ur pastor read this first prayer below and played taps on his trumpet, at the parish peace pole today, after a very moving liturgy in which the theme of scripture and music was--God demands forgiveness and mercy of His people.  No matter how humanly difficult--for our own good.  How much forgiveness?  From the scripture, seven times seventy.  There followed the parable of the wicked servant, forgiven an immense amount, who then goes and extracts full debt punishment from the next one he meets.  [today’s gospel, Mt 18:21-35]
Parable Of The Wicked Servant By Fetti Domenico

What forgiveness has to do directly with any given war is difficult to discern, but war does derive from our multiple failures to replicate God’s forgiveness and mercy.

he victims of 9/11 families now call us to a positive response of national community service [see link- ].   The local United Way led a Tribute Walk at our community’s peace poles this morning to encourage this movement.  I saw many respectful groups walking, hopefully taking these steps towards converting from a war on terror, into a campaign forgiving each others’ debts and serving each others’ needs.

The prayers that follow merge to form a plea that we will all learn mercy, turn back the tides of terrible war that have added countless more victims, to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.

Almighty Father,
we commend the victims of this shocking tragedy
to Your eternal love.
We implore Your comfort upon the injured,
the families and friends involved,
and all who are doing their utmost to rescue survivors
and help those affected.
We ask You, Father,
to grant the American people
the strength and courage they need at this time of sorrow and trial.
We beg you, Jesus,
to send Your legions of heavenly Angels,
led by Saint Michael the Archangel,
to protect the United States
from additional attempts of destruction.
If supernatural means are required to foil these plots,
we humbly implore you to suspend natural laws
to save innocent lives and souls.
Holy Spirit, we are a sinful nation,
and we beg you to send us Your authentic spirit of repentance.
We are also a nation capable of great charity and justice,
so look not on our sins,
Heavenly Spirit of Mercy,
but upon our sorrow and resolve to turn from evil,
to fight evil, and procure victory over evil.
Illuminate the minds and souls of our citizens
and especially our leaders
so we can see the error of our ways,
and give us the sweet grace required to turn to God with pure hearts.
Immaculate Mary, Humble Virgin,
Mother of our Church,
and protectress of our nation,
we ask you to go before the Throne of the Holy Trinity
and intercede for the United States
at this critical juncture in our history.
Gently place your mantle upon our land,
upon our people,
upon our allies,
upon our fighting men and women,
as you once wrapped our Savior in swaddling clothes in a manger.
We have no words that rightly express what we on earth
cannot understand or ever truly fathom,
the Love of God,
so we turn with childlike faith
to the words that Jesus Himself taught us to pray:
"Our Father, Who art in heaven,
hallowed by Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


Prayer in a Time of Contrived Fear

God of peace, we live in a culture
that seeks to manipulate us through fear:
Headlines scream: “Be afraid!”  Advertisements
prod our deepest insecurities and anxieties.
Our political and corporate leaders
know that if we fear, then they can do
whatever they want and we will follow.
But over and over again in scripture,
You call to us: “Be not afraid!”
Your words penetrate, us past the noise,
over the tumult: “Do not fear…”
From Your Word we regain
our freedom.  No longer afraid, we speak
the truth, we live the truth,
and we become that peace which we seek.
In Your peace, we pray: Amen.
By Tom Cordaro
Pax Christi USA

Thomas Merton's Prayer
of Abandonment

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever
with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Flower image and illuminations by Kathy Brahney

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