Blessed are the peacemakers, who turn Sept. 11 terror toward prayer for peace

| Father Michael Van Sloun For The Catholic Spirit | August 30, 2011 | 0 Comments

Sept. 11, 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, one of the most horrific days in American history, a day that has changed our way of life in the United States and around the world.

Security measures have increased dramatically — at airports, around critical facilities like power plants and water treatment plants, and at large gatherings like concerts and sporting events.

We are under more surveillance than ever. We are subject to searches and scans. We are on the lookout for suspicious activity. Military operations continue in Iraq and Afghan­is­tan. For 10 years we have enjoyed relative security and calm at home, but it has been a nervous peace.

Important day for prayer

Because the peace we enjoy is so tenuous and could be disturbed at any moment, and remembering the devastating loss of life and massive destruction 10 years ago in New York, and never forgetting the horrors of war, particularly during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm, Sept. 11 is an especially important day to pray for peace.

As we pray for peace, we must also work for peace. In his seventh beatitude Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9), and he went on to say, “They will be called children of God.”

As the lyrics to a song say so well, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

There is conflict everywhere, not just between countries, but in our families, among our relatives, at work, at school, at church and in our neighborhoods. As Christians, it is our duty to keep the peace wherever we may be, and if strife erupts, to work to restore the peace.

As we remember Sept. 11, let us rededicate ourselves to being peacemakers.

Peacemakers’ litany

Peacemakers regard others as children of God and real people rather than “the enemy”; share rather than hoard; seek the common good over special interest and privilege; em­power rather than control and ma­ni­pulate; are humble rather than arrogant; flexible and cooperative rather than stubborn and unyielding; agreeable rather than quarrelsome; amiable rather than argumentative.

Peacemakers reestablish conversation where there has been silence; speak respectfully and politely in­stead of yell and scream; tell the truth where there have been lies and distortions; set aside resentments, bit­terness and the desire to punish and get even.

Peacemakers are able to apologize for past wrongdoing and willing to make amends; ready to let go of the past and make new beginnings; and have a calming effect where there is trouble.

While we pray for peace in the world, we need to work diligently for peace where we live, work and worship.

Father Michael Van Sloun is pastor of St. Stephen in Anoka.

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Category: Remembering 9/11