A Prayer for Peace

by Kathy on May 2, 2011 · 3 comments

in 9/11, Healing, Hope, Inspiration, Loss, Peace, Quotes, The Future

Last night Bob and I finally saw the Oscar winning movie The King’s Speech. We enjoyed the movie, especially in light of all the recent news coverage of the Royal Wedding last week. We finished watching the movie on a DVD a little after 10:00 p.m. (CST)

For this reason we did not have a regular TV channel on that could have been interrupted with breaking news. Since we were both really into the movie (and I was multitasking sewing patches onto Sean’s new Tae Kwon Do uniform), I had also not checked in on any social media sites since the rumor mill had begun to spin.

The moment Bob turned off our DVD player we saw the headlines on ABC news, Chicago’s local channel 7, that our TV must have been set on before we began the movie.

It was surreal.

After almost 10 years, they had found him.

They had found him and now he was dead.

I recall sitting in a conference room at work on 9/11 with my coworkers watching coverage of the attacks on a big screen TV the first time I heard his name. One of my coworkers had to repeat his name a few times before I could commit it to my memory.

It’s amazing to me now that there was ever a time when I didn’t know who he was or what he was capable of.

And now he is dead.

I have very mixed feelings upon hearing this news. There is a definite sense of relief that the master mind behind 9/11 can do no more harm to innocent people in our country and our world.

However, since I believe in a Consistent Ethic of Life, I struggle to find peace and comfort in anyone’s death. I just don’t think that any person has the right to take another person’s life, whether they are innocent or guilty, young or old.

I understand that life and our world is not that simple, that many situations are not black or white. I realize that in these shades of grey that there can and should be exceptions to many rules.

I appreciate the wide range of reactions that my friends, family members and others around the world are having and their emotions related this news. I see why some feel compelled to celebrate and view this death as “justice being served.” But that is not how I feel.

My hope and prayer now that this truly wicked man is dead is that our country and our world will be able to move further in the direction towards peace and healing.

After almost 10 years at war in the Middle East I hope and pray that this development will be another opportunity for interfaith dialogue and a time for those on all sides to seek and find common ground.

I am not naive though and I get that we may not be significantly safer as a nation or as world citizens today than we were when we woke up yesterday morning.

I know that this man and many others throughout history have sadly left their mark long after their deaths through those they recruited and trained to work for their mission (as terrible and misguided as it is).

That said, though I find it difficult to rejoice in anyone’s death, I do appreciate the knowledge that this man, who’s evil works caused such unbelievable pain and suffering in the hearts, minds and bodies of so many will not be able to hurt us anymore.

As Bob and I watched the breaking news coverage, staying up way past our regular bedtime witnessing history in the making, we both couldn’t help but notice and comment on the parallels between the historic speech that we had just watched a wonderful movie about and the monumental speech our sitting president gave last night. It seemed very ironic to reflect on the “then and now” of it all.

We were reminded of how the HBO series Band of Brothers premiered on Sunday, September 9, 2011. We watched that first episode back then and discussed that very evening how lucky we felt not to have lived in such a time of war and discontent in our world. Little did we know what would happen less than 48 hours later.

I leave you with an inspiring and thought provoking quote (really more of a prayer), that Samantha Kirby (@TheSamKirby) tweeted so profoundly last night. She is the Manager of Public Affairs at Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), an awesome organization that was started by one of my old friends from the University of Illinois, Eboo Patel (@EbooPatel). I had the honor and privilege of being on the IFYC Board of Directors in its early days of existence, when I was the Director of The Peacebuilders Initiative at the Catholic Theological Union back in 2002-2003. I agree with one of @TheSamKirby’s colleagues Alana Kinarsky (@AlanaKinarsky) who wrote that this one was of the most compassionate tweets to be shared in light of the news last night:

Pray for those who made history,
pray for those who may suffer the consequences
and pray for us all to bring our world a lasting peace.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lavender Luz May 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

What a gorgeous prayer. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.


2 Mattie May 2, 2011 at 11:16 am

I agree. I know that he inspired much evil in his life, but I cannot celebrate his soul going to Hell. The celebrating on TV left me very conflicted. It was amazing to see such joyful patriotism as people waved the American flag together. But, we know where his soul went and much innocent blood was shed to find and kill him.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if Christians would celebrate like that for every soul that accepts Christ?


3 HereWeGoAJen May 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I find it difficult to celebrate a death, but I do have part of me that is celebrating the lives that may have been saved by the death of someone who hurt so many. But I was very uncomfortable with the television coverage of people celebrating in the streets.


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