Prayer for 9/11 Memorial – Palatine, IL

Fr. Matt Jamesson – September 11, 2021

Almighty God, you have made mankind for yourself, with an unquenchable desire within the soul to become a gift of love and to be loved. We give you thanks for the boundless care, which you stretch out to us, to the human race, divided as we are by our own struggles and inabilities to understand the complexities of our own quest for Truth and Meaning, and lasting peace.

Equally, we give you thanks for all who have given their lives to sift the weeds that have been sown alongside your grace in the form of hatred, malice, and contradiction. Still, there are many who live among us as iconic stars on our country’s banner, those of our many brave men and women who labor in stripes of blood and sweat on our modern amber waves of grain, the red sirens within our neighborhoods, or the blue lights on our highways, the white gowns of our hospitals and places of worship, the chalk-dust hands of our educators, breaking through the grey expanse where rubble, smoke, ashes, masks, and tears, have dimmed our vision of You and of one another. For the light of your saints in our darkest days we thank You.

Below the ashes 20 years ago today, we as an American people were reminded of the treasure of our life, our liberty, and of our pursuit of happiness, which is You alone and the friendship of the people you have given in our care, since you have so ordained that only in authentic relationship can our true and personal identity be defined.

Through you and in you and with you, we have witnessed the joyful sacrifice quietly existing between love and self-gift, especially in the noble bond of family, and here, above all else, we find the reason to rebuild, together, what was once demolished, will bless with charity what was once sown in hatred, and will love more tenderly what is still most dear to us. For God and for country, in Your name, O Lord, we ask – bless us and grant us the virtues that will safeguard that gift of freedom, which is the space your divine love makes for all of us, by the equally important gift of responsibility, which is the space we in turn make for our brethren.

May what terrified us by loud terrors and cold threats bring us ever closer to one another rather than apart and may the chains that oppress the freedom proper to the sons and daughters of our one Heavenly Father become the very bond of forgiveness and make us one family again – not bonded by a common hatred, but unified by a shared love.

So now we pray, amid the diversity of this American field, where all that makes life beautiful and secure can be found in each unique and unrepeatable human person, each vibrantly colored, pitched differently by the chords of their distinct voices or stories, and forming a singular and harmonious symphony of humanity – Lord, make us one.

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