This September 11 my Facebook is inundated with photos and stories and the determination that we “Never Forget”…
Never forget the terror attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives.
Never forget the lives we lost.
Never forget the courage of first responders who risked—and sacrificed—their lives to save those fleeing burning buildings.
Never forget the images that have burned themselves into our memories of that early September morning in 2001 when so much changed for our country.
This year as we celebrate Patriots Day we are also still reeling from the trauma of 2020 with no clear end in sight to everything tearing at the heart of our country. I feel God asking me to open my heart even further, to hold in the stillness of prayerful silence the darkness and pain so many are suffering in these months. To embrace in the refuge of my heart the never ending flow of people he wishes to direct to my spiritual hospitality.
How will we ever be able to forget 2020? Some of us are more directly suffering greater loss than others. Others are carrying the added burden of depression and anxiety which are become a mental health pandemic of their own.
We probably all wish we could close our eyes and pretend these things never happened. If only, magically, life could return to the way it was….
Instead, my Friends, let us walk forward, steadfastly, deeply grounded in God’s presence.
Here is a prayer from the book The Celtic Vision which helps me remember that God shields me with his all-encompassing love. His love is like a blanket that keeps me warm, safe, and close to him:
The compassing of God and His right hand
Be upon my form and upon my frame;
The compassing of the High King and the grace of the Trinity
Be upon me abiding ever eternally,
Be upon me abiding ever eternally.
May the compassing of the Three shield me in my means,
The compassing of the Three shield me this day,
The compassing of the Three shield me this night
From hate, from harm, from act, from ill,
From hate, from harm, from act, from ill.
Never forget…. And my heart cries out, “And always remember!”
Always remember that God is faithful.
Always remember that people are good.
Always remember that we can make a difference.
Always remember that a new day will come.
So today, let us pray:
Lord Jesus, Prince of peace,
we see our chaotic world today
with its anguish and fear.
We feel ourselves vulnerable
because we, too, are prisoners of the uncertainties
and difficulties of our history.
We raise our hands to you,
in this darkest of nights,
and entrust all humanity to you.
We are threatened by the storms of war,
but we want to remain unshaken
in the certainty that a new day will come;
because you, Lord, are always at work,
even when all is cold and dark around us.
Help us to think of peace, to hope in peace,
to live as persons of peace, and to build peace around us;
to promote a hospitable and welcoming culture,
and justice for the entire world.
Be with all those throughout the world
who suffer persecution for your name.
Give them courage in their adversities and strength to persevere in faith.
Enable us to nurture reconciliation and forgiveness,
so that peace may penetrate our thoughts and feelings,
making us credible signs of understanding and communion.
Lord, you conquered violence and death that we may live.
Help us become living icons of your love,
so that peace may truly be the home for all.
Prayer from Live Christ! Give Christ!