Today’s Thoughts: I have two sections to my thoughts today. First, I would like to reflect on this day and secondly, I would like to reflect on our Gospel for this day…
Remembering the 18th Anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001
“There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Furthermore, the more beautiful and fuller the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says above there is nothing that can be said or done that replaces the loss of someone dear to us. But hopefully Bonhoeffer’s words can help to give comfort to all who lost loved ones fourteen years ago in Lower Manhattan, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania.
Perhaps, Bonhoeffer’s words can help all of us deal with what we as a city, a country and a world lost thirteen years ago. May his words give us pause to be grateful for the silent joy that all who gave their lives continue to give us. May those who lost their lives continue to be a hidden treasure for all of us, a treasure that we can always count on.
“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
To the people who gave their lives, to the families who gave their loved ones, to those who continue to give their lives because of the aftereffects of this day even these many years later, to all of you I say thank you!
Turning to our Gospel today… In Luke’s Gospel today, we experience several of the Beatitudes and we are encouraged to feel the “blessings” that come with our poverty and reliance on God. If we feel content and complete with all our earthly wealth and success how can we improve our dependence and reliance on God? How does one strengthen and enrich a relationship if there is no need for the other person in our life? If one is so independent, as to not need another person’s help, council, ideas, or support, how does a non-relationship with another enrich us?
Our Gospel is suggesting that, if we “hunger” or “weep,” if we need for others and need God, then we will experience a fulfilling life, we will find direction and come to appreciate our need for others and our need for God. When we experience poverty, sorrow, hunger or insults, and find that we can overcome these struggles in life, through our dependence on God, we then will find true joy, appreciation and satisfaction in life.
Have a blessed and prayerful Wednesday.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...