A decade ago today thousands of people were killed in New York. Hundreds more were killed in Pennsylvania and Washington. Some of them were the partners of people reading this; others were their daughters, or sons. Or their sisters, or brothers. Or mothers, or fathers, uncles or aunts. Still others were friends, or colleagues. Or perhaps someone you’d once met at a party, or with whom you occasionally shared an elevator. Most were unknown to you (especially since North Americans comprise only about 70% of this blog’s readership), and quite possibly lived in a country oceans away from wherever it is you call home. Yet regardless of your relationship to them (or lack thereof) they mattered. Not least because they were human, and to be human is to be made of the same stuff as God incarnate.
And today they are gone. But not forgotten.
Maybe someday I’ll find the right words to say more than that: God knows I’ve been trying for the past week to write something more profound, something which might – albeit in just the smallest of ways – offer consolation to those grieving. But nothing seems to come out how I want it. In a perfect world I could bring some sort of meaning to the evil which is death at the hands of murderous young men under the delusion which is fundamentalism (irrespective of the theological façade – Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or whatever – it’s invariably young men who are the most eager to taste blood, just as it is a much smaller group of old men who spur them on, and women who are forced into subserviently keeping the whole diabolical performance operational). But then again, in a perfect world September 11, 2001 would have been just another day.
Nor in a perfect world would fundamentalists continue killing people. Granted, flying aircraft into buildings is (blessedly) rare, but most fundamentalist murderers prefer the vastly more efficient modus operandi of preventing the victims from living as themselves, free from fear, persecution, and shame. By denying their right to affordable health care, or education, or contraception, or equal employment. In a perfect world the obscene sexism of euphemisms like “complementarianism” would be as archaic as the hideous racism of “peculiar institution”. And the Christ who brought hope to the powerless would never - but never - be perversely conscripted into the service of those who would have us believe that the Sermon on the Mount was “Blessed are those who are the doctrinal heirs of the Pharisees”.
But I’m drifting off-topic again. Because all I really wanted this post to say is that those who are gone are not forgotten. And because they are not forgotten, it is love, not evil, which shall triumph. If today you are grieving – for whatever reason – please know that you do not grieve alone.
Father Mychal Judge inspire us.
Saint Mychal pray for us.
Holy Spirit be among us.