What did you hear?

Borrowing a page from Amy Welborn, I’m curious to hear what your experience was like at yesterday’s Mass.  The anniversary was emotional and packed with a lot of complicated feelings.  And the scriptures, as any preacher will tell you, were especially challenging.

Someone in my office, who lives in a parish that lost several first responders on 9/11, told me that his pastor spoke about…abortion.

Specifically, forgiveness after abortion, and the life of Dr. Bernard Nathanson.

What did they talk about in your parish?

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7 responses to “What did you hear?”

  1. Our pastor talked about forgiveness, justice and the relationship between both. He said that we are called to forgive all, even those who have committed the most grievous acts or violence. But, while we forgive there is also accountability for a person’s actions, here before the earthly justice and in the world to come by the judgement of God.

  2. Vigil Mass at neighboring parish was an excellent sermon by a young Passionist priest on reconciliation & healing with 911 as focus for a broader living out of the Christian call to forgiveness. Special emphasis on how Christian do NOT forgive AND forget. We remember because remembering is truth-telling and forgetting is trying to pretend something never happened. Actually by not forgetting we turn the wrong done against us into an event for spiritual and emotional growth. Refusing to forget does not mean holding a grudge or seeking revenge. It means living in the truth and going through the event and coming out of it a better person, a more reconciling Christian.

    Sunday Mass at parish was about forgiveness as being a “heavenly act” with simply an oblique reference to 911 among many other examples. When we forgive we act as Christ, as God and so we bring a touch of heaven to the earth. No one who has reveived forgiveness in Baptism or again in Reconciliation can refuse to forgive others and in heaven we will be in a praise-filled loving communion even with those whom we clashed here on earth. Forgiveness is one of the main ways we act Christlike, Godlike, here on earth and its our duty, not optional.

  3. At the 7:30 a.m. Mass, the priest read the Last Testament of Dom Christian de Chergé, Prior of the Trappist monastery of Thibirine, Algeria, who was beheaded along with six of his eight fellow monks by Islamist insurgents on May 21, 1996. The event is the subject of the movie “Of Gods and Men.” The testament is a remarkable example of forgiveness, in this case given in advance of the wrong.

    At 11:00 the pastor rambled, focusing principally on the 11th graders who were to start their confirmation retreat immediately after Mass.

  4. Sigh … our pastor missed the mark … yes, he talked about forgiveness, that was OK so far as it went, nothing remarkable … but he said we were “celebrating” the tragedy of 9/11 … and our parish had a parish/school festival that day, p*ss-poor discernment on somebody’s part IMNSHO … sigh …

  5. We opened mass by singing the Prayer of St. Francis, and the themes of peace/forgiveness were on everyone’s mind at homily time. Our associate pastor, who has been with us only about a year, uses an oxygen tank at all times, and in his homily he explained for the first time why. He was in NYC on 9/11/01, having just returned from a South African conference on peaceful reconciliation. After days of exposure to the noxious fumes of destruction in lower Manhattan, he became very ill and has never fully recovered. In other words, he personally has every reason to be constantly resentful–and might well be, he explained, if he did not see himself as part of a whole line of Christians, stretching all the way to Jesus himself, whose lives exemplified the message of Sunday’s gospel. That is where we must all position ourselves, he concluded. The congregation applauded, and the rest of the mass was unusually joyful.

  6. Strong sermon on the wonder that is America and good songs with Faith of our Fathers and God Bless America. Sermon was from a priest who had served in WWII and got his vocation while reading about Therese of Liseaux as he was riding along between battles. It was great because he put the perspective of forgiveness and justice in proper perspective. We got rid of Hitler and his bunch and forgave the German people. We got rid of ToJo and his buddies in Japan and forgave the japanese people. Now we need to get rid of all who believe that jihad is the path for moslems and when that is accomplished, we can forgive the moslem people. He said a lot of very good German people fought for a very bad cause and a lot of very good German people, including Catholics, turned a blind eye to the death camps. He mentioned that we have much the same thing going on today in this country with people turning a blind eye to the killing of 4000 babies a day, even some Catholics, and they too will need forgiveness. Strong sermon from this wonderful visiting priest. He comes in about once a month from the retirement community and he had requested this mass on 9/11 anniversary. He was surrounded for an hour after mass with many who had been struggling with the issue of forgiveness and he put it all in perspective.

  7. I was expecting another fine homily by one of our priests. He told some interesting stories about 9/11, but did not talk about the readings–very unusual for him. *Sigh* When the lectionary hands you readings like that on a silver platter, how can you not hit them out of the park? (Excuse the mixed metaphors!) At least the choir sang Panis Angelicus!

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