A Reflection on Faith and 9/11

My colleagues in nearby Waterloo, Iowa, sent me a reflection for the coming anniversary. While I’m feeling a bit cynical about the whole deal from a political view, I do love Psalm 3 and Pope Benedict is no doubt a superb mystagogue. So if this is helpful to any of the readers out there, here goes …

As we approach the tenth anniversary of September 11th, we know many people of faith who still struggle with questions like: Where was God? or How could God let this happen?

Although he did not specifically refer to the tragedy of 9/11 or its aftermath, Pope Benedict XVI addressed this critical issue of how faith responds to tragedy in his Wednesday catechesis.  The Pope delivered a commentary on Psalm 3, which he called “a prayer full of trust and consolation,” and said the psalmist’s sentiments can be our own.  The Pope’s reflections are a timely reminder as we ponder the moral and spiritual significance of 9/11 ten years later:

In suffering, in danger, in the bitterness of misunderstanding and offense, the psalmist’s words open our hearts to the comforting certainty of faith. God is always near — even in difficulties, in problems, in the darkness of life — He listens, He responds and He saves according to His ways.

But we need to know how to recognize His presence and to accept His ways, like David in his crushing escape from Absalom his son; like the just man who is persecuted in the Book of Wisdom; and finally and fully, like the Lord Jesus on Golgotha.

And, when to the eyes of the impious, God seems not to intervene and the Son dies, precisely then are true glory and salvation’s definitive realization manifested to all who believe.”

The Pope concluded his reflection with this prayer:

May the Lord grant us faith;
may He come to the help of our weakness;
and may He enable us to believe and to pray in every anxiety,
in the painful nights of doubt and in the long days of suffering,
by trustfully by trustfully abandoning ourselves to Him
who is our ‘shield’ and our ‘glory.’

Read Psalm 3 here.

Read the full text of the Pope’s reflection here.

See Waterloo Catholic’s selection of statements, prayers and reflections for 9/11 here.

Share your own reflections on 9/11 here.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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