Something awful did not have to happen.
And a thought occurred to me.
Thousands who died will not return to this soil. Many, many more who were injured carry scars inside and out. Across the country, personal liberty in transit and in just being left alone has eroded.
On a fundamental level, though, what changed? Perhaps nothing more than Americans’ awareness of how much some people hate us and what they are willing to do accordingly. The world did not become a worse or more dangerous place as much as America became more like the rest of the world.
But the fallen angels who would seek to ruin our eternal salvation are far more clever. They do their utmost to avoid notice (cf. Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis in PDF format). Amidst worries about the stock market and the price of gas, our society has grown accustomed to death. Laughter and mockery are the usual responses to concern about abortion and contraception in public policy, let alone the ravages of divorce and daycare. Those who warn about to the specter of euthanasia are wakening up to a threat that has been under way for decades. With the water slowly reaching a boil, maybe a jolt of domestic intolerance of religion is just what the doctor ordered.
When others would likely have told them to eat this or drink that or rub this on what ails you, the crowd who sought out Jesus for freedom from their diseases knew that heavenly grace has power over earthly woe. They were perceptive to signs that they needed to be closer to God.
A great crowd of His disciples and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon
came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases;
and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.
Everyone in the crowd sought to touch Him
because power came forth from Him and healed them all.
The Good News is that Jesus does not make us walk too far to reach Him. He came to us, to rescue us, to offer us a lasting peace that will begin to be ours as we conform our lives to His justice, a peace which will be everlasting once our zip code is heaven. To make it as easy as possible, He lets us experience tastes of heaven while still making our way through this valley of tears. He remains in the world and comes into our lives every day on the altar.
God is good.
In gratitude for all those who laid down their lives to defend and protect and for those still willing to do so today, we pray
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan
and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace,
pray for us.