Now and then, I post on 9/11. About it, rather. This from seven years ago. Pope Benedict and Psalm 3: hard to find better than that. Certainly an improvement over which president disrespected the observance and how. Loved ones of victims still mourn, and now it seems that poisons from the leveling of two buildings are taking effect in workers, survivors, and others too close.
It seems difficult for white American men to embrace lament. People of color and women here have had trails of tears, chain gangs, sweatshops, and concentration camps. Not to mention lawless police brutality even to the present day. Our present president likes to remind us we like winners. And we do. At some point, I believe we will elevate our heroes and saints above simple winners. Winners get replaced, voted out, relegated, die off, and are forgotten. Heroes and saints are remembered because their sacrifices don’t immediately translate into wins. Sometimes all there is for them is loss.
Wisdom 3 reminds us:
But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
When it comes to current perspective, appearances aren’t everything. Modern culture thinks they are. Liberals, and conservatives (as much as they might complain) are also obsessed with what things look like. It’s one reason they are having such a devilish time with the latest revelations of cover-up, touching people and places they once thought sacred.
Back to heroes:
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples …
An angel besets Henry VIII in this confrontation imagined in Garrett Fisher’s fine opera the Passion of Saint Thomas More. People in power deceive themselves:
Today we will bring him to the Lord,
Today we will bring him to the king,
Today we will make Sir Thomas a saint,
Today we will make Sir Thomas king.
God turns things on their head. Personally, I find those moments of upheaval against injustice to be delicious. I believe they will come.