“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and say why not.”
These words of George Bernard Shaw, the Irish Nobel Prize winner for Literature have been quoted on many occasions. I believe that there is no more appropriate occasion to remember these immortal words than today as we commemorate the tragic events of 9/11.
I join the leaders of the three main Religious Faith Communities in urging all men and women of good will on this day to “dream things that never were and say why not”.
Why not Peace and Harmony?
Today, we recall the innocent men and women who lost their lives, we recall men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in the service of others. However, our “remembrances” are empty rites if we do not commit ourselves to seeking Peace so that there will never be another 9/11.
The Sacred Scriptures of all major Faith Traditions speak of God as a God of Peace, Love and Harmony. Today, we lift up our hearts and minds to God and ask the Almighty to instill in us a true desire to seek and to live in peace with each other.
Blessed are the Peacemakers.
Peace is born in the heart of the human person. It cannot be imposed on anyone. If we as a nation seek peace we must live and promote peace in our own hearts and love and respect all people…we must promote the human conditions in our communities that lead to peace.
How much hatred and violence lives and festers in our world and in our communities – as men and women of Faith we must promote peace and justice in our own hearts – then in our communities – and ultimately in the whole world.
President Kennedy once wrote…
“Peace does not rest in charters and covenants. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the minds and hearts of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe that the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings”.
Brothers and sisters the future of humanity, the future of the world is in our hands…if we wish to eradicate hatred and violence from our world we must have the courage to work to promote freedom, justice and respect for all people. Each one of us must have peace, love and justice in our own hearts.
Allow me to end this brief reflection by repeating the prayer of Pope Benedict at the site of the World Trade Center five years ago…
“O God of Love and compassion and healing,
Look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
Who gather here.“
God of Peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
Peace in the hearts of all men and women
And peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
Those whose hearts and minds
Are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
Overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
We seek your light and guidance.
As we confront such terrible events,
Grant that those whose lives were spared
May live so that the lives lost here
May not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
Strengthen us in hope,
And give us the wisdom and courage
To work tirelessly for a world
Where true peace and love reign
Among nations and in the hearts of all.
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish