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The Important Lessons of 911 by John Horvat II

 

On the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it is fitting that we reflect on what has changed in America.

 

Of course, no one doubts that 9/11 was a defining point in our history. All remember where they were on that fateful day. However, we would venture to say that 9/11 was more than just a shocking physical attack on our homeland. It was a symbolic attack on our way of life. It was also a rude awakening that served to shake us from an optimistic hedonistic vision of life that is the product of our Hollywood-driven culture.

 

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Lessons learned

In this sense, there were many lessons that we learned from the attacks. We were forced to confront reality head on and question this false vision of life. Contrary to the sentimental notion that all men are basically good, we found ourselves facing evil, irrational men capable of cold-blooded murder on a grand scale. Contrary to our relying on technology to solve all our problems, we found our technological advantage could not deliver us from this evil.

Our technology not only failed but they used it against us by slamming our own jets into the World Trade Center using low-tech $5 box cutters as weapons.

Shaken from a hedonistic way of life, we found ourselves facing evil and what it is capable of.  We were forced to endure enormous suffering in a culture that does everything to deny suffering and tries to make everything end “happily ever after.” Finally and most importantly, we were invited to turn to God for solace and strength in our suffering.

We learned all these lessons from the attacks and we do not hesitate to say that we took them to heart. America did not become discouraged but rose to the occasion in a show of strength and unity that disconcerted the enemy. 

 

The "Tribute in Light" memorial in rememberance of the tragic 9/11. USAF photo by Denise GouldThe American reaction

In an impressive display of patriotism, American youth enlisted in the armed services often sacrificing promising careers to fight for our country. Contrary to our hedonistic culture, these valiant soldiers fought with great sacrifice, endured great hardship and inspired admiration and respect. Our armed forces deserve the gratitude of our nation.

In fact, all Americans participated in this same generosity and idealism by their support of these efforts. We believe Providence cannot but look with favor on this spirit of generosity, idealism and self-sacrifice. Indeed, when men put grand causes before their own self-interest, it opens the way for God’s grace to work.

On this anniversary, we remember all these things.

However, we must also realize that the fight is not over. The Islamist threat is still there as can be seen by the increasing persecution of Christians worldwide. Perhaps more disconcerting are those who would minimize the notion of this threat in the name of political correctness.

Thus, on this September 11, all Americans are invited to remember those who tragically died and take to heart the lessons we have learned. However, we are also invited to embrace the cross and press the attack.  

 

 


 

 

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 25, 2020

“I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace...

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May 25

 

“I will take away
not the grace but the feeling of grace.
Though I will seem to leave you
I will be closer to you.”

Our Lord to St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Pope St. Gregory VII

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cri...

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Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand in Tuscany, Italy. Little else is known of his early life. Hailed, historically, as one of the greatest of the Church's pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all time, his name, Hildebrand, meant “bright flame”. Those who hated him, which were many, interpreted the name as “brand of Hell”.

Hildebrand was a Benedictine monk, for a time living in Cluny, from whence he certainly gleaned the monastery’s ideal of societal reform.

As a cleric, he became chaplain to Pope Gregory VI, and a few years later, under Leo IX was made Cardinal Deacon. A man of outstanding energy and insight, Hildebrand became a power in Rome. It is greatly due to him that the practice of electing popes through a college of cardinals was established.

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cried out for the holy genius who had helped steer the Church for twenty years, “Hildebrand for Pope! Holy Peter wants Hildebrand, the Archdeacon!” Once before the holy monk had eluded the tiara but this time a proper college of cardinals, seconding the popular cry, induced him to accept an honor duly his.

Hildebrand assumed the name Gregory VII, and threw his energy and zeal into a continued reform, especially fighting simony (the sale of ecclesiastical posts) and clerical incontinence.

He confronted Emperor Henry IV head- on about his practice of choosing men for ecclesiastical positions. On meeting with dogged resistance, the pontiff finally had recourse to excommunication which drastically curtailed the proud monarch’s power, ultimately bringing Henry on foot to the Pope at the Castle of Canossa. Because of Henry’s rebellious obstinacy, Pope Gregory saw fit to leave him out in the cold for three days before receiving and reinstating the royal penitent.

But Henry failed to make any true personal reform and alienated his princes who elected another ruler. Still, he later rallied and went as far as electing another Pope, a Clement III, calling down upon himself another sentence of excommunication. He also attacked and entered the Eternal City in 1084, which forced Pope Gregory into exile. Henry had his protégée “pope” crown him Emperor. Ultimately repelled by an army fighting for the true pope, the Emperor Henry left Rome, but complications sent Gregory VII again into exile, this time to die.

His last words before his death were a summary of how he had lived, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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