Most people have heard the news that American troops have eliminated Osama Bin Laden over in Pakistan. This has been one of the primary goals of American troops ever since 9/11/2001. I know people who lost family members and friends in the Twin Towers on 9/11 and at the Pentagon. I remember the morning of 9/11 like it was yesterday. I could not believe that it was possible for such a thing to occur in my country to our citizens. And then it happened. Resolve filled the hearts of our country and transformed it. In some ways for better, and for some ways for worse. But transform it it did. There was no going back.
I remember when I was a teenager through my early twenties. My parents said to me (and some of my friends) “your generation takes affluence for granted, as though it will always be there; while ours NEVER can”. Well, for this country in the decades to come, I am certain that we can say the same thing about security and safety…
We will see what the death of Osama Bin Laden will mean for the balance of power and how the various countries realign themselves. For this country, the coverage last night seems to indicate that a whole lot of folks approve of our miltary’s efforts to find and “get” Bin Laden. Perhaps we will more accurately see ourselves as capable, competent, transformational leaders. That would be a good thing for ourselves, and our smaller weaker allies who live in fear of enemy hostilities. Perhaps we will be a little less afraid ourselves.
It is interesting to me that Divine Mercy Sunday, the Beatification of Pope John Paul II and the death of Bin Laden all came on the same day. All historic, transformational moments. What is the message in all of this? Believe me, I am looking deeper tonight. I would love for this to mean that international terrorism will end, or that Al Queda will fall apart. However, I do think that it is finally possible that people will no longer feel powerless in the face of international terrorism. That feeling of fear and powerlessness that permeated the hearts of millions is part of what gave Al Queda power. Now we know that if we stand up to bullies, eventually we can gain strength.
This is both fact and analogy. If we look at our own individual struggles against our own sinfulness we realize the same thing. For instance, in my own struggles I at times find myself stuck in the same mistakes and sins. Over and over and over. This ends up in me feeling overwhelmed and defeated and wondering about the point of even trying. . . and I quit… and then I realize that is part of the problem. So I boldly march forward, ask God’s forgiveness AND for His help in forging a new path to find a way out of the quicksand bog. Once out of that trap I can see that I wandered in circles and my heart was permeated by hopelessness. It was the hopelessness that defeated me, not even the quicksand, although the quicksand didn’t help either.
Back to Bin Laden….Just as Hitler had to be stopped, so did Bin Laden and al Queda. We shall see whether Bin Laden’s death stops the terrorism…..it’s a start. Perhaps they will think twice about messing with us. Perhaps we will hold our heads a bit higher today.
Pope John Paul II often urged the world to “Be not afraid”. Today we can be less afraid. Today we can recall his frequent teachings, writings, homilies, and speeches urging the world toward holiness. Urging us to rush to God’s arms always. In His arms we are safe. In His ways and rules we find total love. May our hearts always hunger for God—and may we always recognize that our hunger for God can only be satisfied by God.
May our troops and citizens around the world be safe tonight, and may our country be united in our resolve to honor our country and each other. God bless America and the families of 9/11—and God bless our troops who daily bless this country with their bravery.
I hope and pray that we love our precious country—and we remember that each person in it is precious, whether or not we agree with them. May Al Queda and other active terrorists know that we will find you…..so go ahead and stop terrorizing… because we really, really do NOT like it…..Remember 9/11 and remember 5/1/11…..