"God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront such terrible events," Pope Benedict XVI prayed with family members at Ground Zero April 20, 2008. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
"But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard" (Leviticus 25). Before moving on to our usual contentious cogitations on this seventh anniversary of that unholy day, let us pray with Benedetto. Excerpts from the Pope's benediction during his visit to Ground Zero last spring. (Full transcript here):
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001 …
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering …
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred …
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain …
—Pope Benedict XVI Prayer at Ground Zero, New York, 20 April 2008
Contentious cogitations will return shortly. Teaser: "Pope, During Visit to France, Will Try To Bridge Gap Between Faith, Reason."
Update: Miss Kelly links: "My prayers go out to President Bush, who has certainly done something right to prevent further terrorist attacks." Like Papa Ratzi, kindred spirit George W — "the nation's first Catholic president?" — is a rock, and we have faith that history will vindicate him.