As I do every 9/11, I began this morning praying the Office of the Dead, from the Liturgy of the Hours. The psalms this year seemed to speak poignantly of the torment of the victims, and of those who waited, and waited, and who now wait to be re-united in glory. This year, I have made a podcast of the prayer for anyone who wishes to use it. (Sorry about the microphone. I’m saving for a better set up).
It was the Office for the Dead that spurred on these musings two years ago: Weakness is Sown; Strength Rises Up:
“…help them to comprehend the truth and strength and inviolability of your love, the generosity of your mercy – show to them the outpouring of your grace, gift them with your healing and let them recognise it and trust in it, for your gifts bestowed are never rescinded. You, Alpha and Omega, in whom we live and move and have our being, spread forth your peace like sweetest honey to refresh starving hearts and weary spirits. Let your light touch us like consoling balm to soothe and warm our chilled humanity, so that we might be opened to your justice and willing to be made whole. But I am no worthy intercessor, only a faulty and broken vessel trusting in your mercy. Consider not what I deserve in your sight but only the needs of these whom you love, these I bring before you, and for whom I, the lowest servant, plead. Let my evening prayer rise before you like incense, to carry these forward. Forgive my sins, especially my failures in love, my sins of omission (for you know those are vast and heavy) and cast them behind your back as your prophet Isaiah has promised, and with your grace may I do better. Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner, in your name I pray…”
Deacon Greg Kandra has a brief excerpt from a book, Redeemed by Heather King, posted at his place. In it the author movingly writes of the final moments of the life of 32-year old Melissa Doi, who perished in the World Trade Center, and the dispatcher who stayed on the line with her:
The operator tried to calm her down, but a few minutes later, Doi panicked: ‘I’m gong to die, aren’t I?’ she asked. ‘No no no,’ the operator replied. ‘I’m going to die,’ Doi repeated. ‘Say your prayers,’ the operator advised. ‘Oh God, it’s so hot. I’m burning up,’ Doi replied. Several minutes later, the line on her end went silent. And here’s the thing, really, in a way — one of the very few things we have to hold onto: the operator continued to speak to her for another 20 minutes, ‘soothingly, according to the Los Angeles Times article, ‘repeating Doi’s name over and over, calling her ‘dear.’
Oh, Osama bin Laden (and let’s remember there’s a little Osama bin Laden in the best of us), if you were sitting beside this beautiful young woman..maybe you could have seen that if one of us is hurt, we’re all hurt. That whatever hurt has been done to you, this could never set it right. That it’s not making fire in the sky and blowing up towers that make you a man.
Greg has more of that. There is there is audio of that awful conversation between Ms. Doi and the kind and unknown dispatcher, who must have been dying herself – in another way – while managing to be present to Doi in a calm, compassionate and noble manner. It is extremely difficult to listen to.
In the tragedy and terror of 9/11 we saw the best and the worst of humanity. I pray never have to again.
Of course, Osama has not managed to hit us again. I blame Bush
For another perspective, that not everyone may like: Faith and Reason and Forced Conversions:
Martyrdom is not about justice – it is not about reasonable death. It is about exactly the opposite, it is about facing down what is completely unreasonable and unjust and offering oneself to the cause of what is just – is reasonable. And yes, there is victory in it. But belonging, as it does, to the realm of the Supernatural, that victory is not always obvious and clear. Still, we all know that simply because a thing is not obvious does not mean it is untrue. The Carmelites of Compiegne and Takashi Nagai knew that.
Deacon Greg also has a prayer for peace in the face of tragedy, and a moving graphic, here.
Can something positive come from the collapses at WTC?
This is not surprising, but sad.
Happy Catholic: Memories & Determination; Links and video you won’t be seeing everywhere else. Nice job,Julie.
Fear of Terrorism: Lowest since 9/11/01. I blame Bush.
Rocco: Pope Benedict’s Prayer at Ground Zero
Dick Meyer: 9/11 & the Non-crisis of values
Bookworm: Horrifying picture
Michelle Malkin: Remembrance & Resolve
Lucianne Goldberg: What do I tell the pilot; Tribute to Barbara Olsen (repost)
Blackfive: Stand & Never yield
Lorie Byrd: Never Forget
Day by Day: no words
J’s Cafe-Nette: Do You Remember?
Brutally Honest: “The room shook”
Andrea Shea King: We remember
Lileks: Archived, but prescient and worth re-reading
Bush 7, Terrorists 0
PMJ: Remembering Not to Forget
AlQ’s failed attack on our economy
Veep candidate’s son goes off to war
Built from the scraps: The USS New York