As we prepare to mark the anniversary of 9-11, we have seen reports of the terror of that day. We have heard of the anger, the terror, the fear, and the uncertainty. We know of the bravery of some of the men and women from that day. Many others probably have stories to tell. I am humbled by the courage shown by many that day. I am saddened by the tragedy. I am overwhelmed at the changes in our society that day brought about.
I am also aware that I have a responsibility as a Christian. I am called to love my neighbor as myself. Some neighbors are easier to love than others. The neighbors who do not wish me, my family, or my community harm are much easier to love. Those who wish to harm us are more difficult to love. It is difficult to lift up those who seek to destroy. We are called to go beyond our human nature to pray for those who revile and persecute us.
We are called to love others as Christ has loved us. This is not an easy thing to do, but we are called to move beyond what is easy and comfortable. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. To do this, we must love those who seek to hurt us. As we remember the pain, suffering, and bravery, let us also pray for those who still seek to harm us. I invite you to pray the prayer below.
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering – our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgment let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness.
written by an unknown prisoner in Ravensbruck concentration camp