If you read nothing else, today, do read Deacon Greg’s homily for the day..
As Sr. Mary Ann Walsh points out, in her own excellent essay, the Mass readings hit the mark, and Deacon Greg’s homily makes it all down to a relate-able level by remembering a Super Bowl moment and how it all works together:
The half time entertainment was Bono and U-2. There must have been 100-thousand people in the stadium, cheering wildly. Bono stepped onto the stage and the lights dimmed and the crowd roared and the band began to play.
If you watch video of that performance, you can hear Bono, over the music and the cheering, speaking into his microphone: “Lord, open my lips that my mouth may sing forth your praise.” The same words spoken at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Hours in the Catholic Church.
And in fact, what followed turned out to be a kind of prayer.
For those who observed it, it was unlike any other day in recorded history. It was seared into the memories of those who lived it. It changed lives forever. In the retelling, its horror still scandalizes people. And writers will continue, and well they should, to use the strongest language possible to describe it.
Immolation of all things holy.
Innocent human life crushed.
Indeed, the blackest day.
Meanwhile, she stood by, watching it, buffeted by the morbid cataclysm set in motion—eyes riveted, unable to help, and unable to walk away.
Then, all of a sudden, the earth quaked. And an excruciating sword of suffering sliced once-recognizable lives into two distinct halves—before and after that hour.
Hell was having a proverbial field day. Heaven cried.
As Jesus died upon the cross, Mary, his mother, deeply pained and grieving, stood by.
Surprising, right? You’ll want to read 9/11 and the Ever-Present Christ
In 9/11 and the Forgiveness Gene, Heather Ordover — was was teaching school a few blogs from the World Trade Center — writes:
There’s a forgiveness gene or maybe an empathy gene that seems to have been switched off somewhere around the time when Gordon Gekko first reared his ugly head. That’s when I first noticed it, anyway. I can’t guarantee anyone felt more civil before that, but they sure as heck acted more civilly before that. Me? I’d like to be surrounded by a little more acting every once in awhile. I don’t much care how folks feel—and you can’t really change that anyway—but we can expect certain behaviors from civil society.
Don’t miss also, Joseph Susanka’s thoughts on the Hero’s Equation — and the link he provides to the moving and inspiring story of firefighter Welles Crowther.
Instapundit has a roundup of writing from those first days
Pope Benedict XVI: Resist the temptation to hate
Kathryn Jean Lopez: “Raised with Christ” on 9/11″
Rev. Elias D. Mallon, S.A. Love is more powerful than hate
James Martin, S.J.: Parable of 9/11
Fr. Robert Barron: Forgiving on 9/11
Learning to Pray: Forgive everyone, everything
Jake Tapper: How 9/11 Led to Barack Obama
Hot Air: Quotes from that day
Michael Gerson: The Ugly Gash of 9/11
Michelle Malkin: All the Wrong Lessons
NRO: Symposium What have we learned?
Peggy Noonan: We’ll never get over it, nor should we
Rich Lowry: A decade of heroes
GM Roper: Photo Essay
Peter J. Leithart: God is still back
Kathleen Parker: America no longer knows itself
Julie Davis: On Being Wrong and Erring on the Side of Mercy
Me: Remembering Matthew David Garvey, FDNY, USMC
Christopher Hitchens: Pure Evil
Max Lindenman: History as an arm-chair event
Charles Krauthammer: Not an overreaction
Bruce Bawer: 9/11 and the pastness of the past
Donald Sensing: video memorial
Phyllis Chesler: Don’t blame America first
Don Surber: Hope, a few floors at a time
Pope Benedict XVI: God’s presence in times of darkness
Victor Davis Hanson: 9/11 Mysteries
Karol Markowicz: Free to Get Over It, or Not
Heather King: I saw death
Roger Kimball: The Foreseeable Future
Andrew Brown: Was 9/11 good for religion
Mark Steyn: Let’s Roll over?
The Christophers: Sad Anniversary
Barbara Nicolosi: Where were you when the towers fell?
Ed Morrissey: Patriot Day
Bookworm Room: I remember
NPR: Bury Mychal Judge’s Heart, not his Love
Paul Moses: Religion Matters
James Taranto: Too Soon to forget?
Frank Weathers: Forgive, don’t forget
Tom Elias: In no mood to forgive
Kim Priestap: a round up
Franck and Simon: A bad civics lesson
Melissa Clouthier: a roundup
Jen Hartline: Innocence lost and restored
Bush Speech from United 93 Memorial