My Thoughts

Where were you that day, that time, September 11, 2001? Do you remember? The phone ringing beside the bed woke me up. Not yet aware of when or where, I heard her voice say, “Are you watching this? We are being attacked!” “What? Huh? What are you talking about?” Her voice screamed into my ear “Turn on the TV!! We are under attack!” Days passed without ending, without pause, glued to the screen, the whole world watching, hoping, wanting for it not to be true. Nightmarish images of bodies falling from the sky in desperate despair. There was nothing, nothing, nothing … but pain and horror and anguish and anger.

And yet, it was Ground Zero which stabbed the heart so mercilessly, the cold cruel rage of man for man, man’s apostacy for by happenstance being born human. Some may suggest no connection between one extreme to another, but a circle has no end; round and round it goes forever. It is a matter of degrees: zero eventually comes round upon itself.

There is a room below where once two towers stood tall and proud—some called them arrogant—against the skyline of Manhattan. No photography allowed. Upon its stark and barren walls now press row on row of frozen faces; forever lost, impossible to forget, when stone and steel and glass and love fell from the sky. From Virgil we remind ourselves: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” No where or when or since have I stood before so many souls I never knew and mourned the loss of each and every one. Beyond the inestimable human cost, each was a child of God, loved by their Creator and those left to wonder “Why?” Each image pressed upon my soul, so hard and heavy I found it difficult to breathe. I hurried to escape the desperate despair welling up inside.

Why? Why is there so much dissatisfaction, so much unhappiness, so much jealousy and hate? Why are so many set on change merely for the sake of change? Why is what is, and always has been, never good enough, never well enough to leave alone? Why? Why? Why? But wait … there is more, much more to ask. When did I lose my identity, my individuality, my self, my uniqueness? When did “I” become “We”, a cog in a machine, an indistinguishable part of a group of exchangeable replaceable parts? When did equal opportunity become the necessity to be equal? When did free come to mean without cost or obligation? When did “We the People” become subservient to the “Almighty Godless State”? When did those who, by experience and first-hand knowledge, lose the upper hand to those who have neither the knowledge nor the experience?[1]

Wake up America. Wake up and remember. Do not erase that day and the lives lost from the memory of time. God bless this land and her people.

Just my thoughts for a Friday, for what it is worth.

[1] From Colloqui, None So Blind, November 01, 2019.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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