Seven years ago, the United States was deliberately attacked by the forces of al-Qaida. Two planes slammed into the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City, another crashed into the Pentagon, while a third fell in a field in Pennsylvania. As President Roosevelt once said about another surprise attack sixty years before, this was a day which would live in infamy.
September 11th was the day when America lost its innocence and when it came face to face with forces that it has struggled to eradicate ever since. It was not just the country that was affected, but every single person living in that country. Each citizen has had to deal with the calamity in his or her own way. Obviously, it is difficult to generalize about things like this since the stories are so varied and different. Indeed, the event impacted some more than others, but its impact was felt around the country and across the globe.
Seven years on, I wonder if our country has learned its lesson from the attacks of September 11th. Has anything changed at all since that fateful day? Of course, there are positive signs from abroad, but there are also things that can easily terrify us. After all, the Afghan government is still trying to rule a small portion of the ocuntry, while the rest is in the hands of various warlords. The Taliban has also been resurgent in the tribal areas of neighboring Pakistan. After all, this was where it came from a couple of decades. Perhaps, we are watching history repeat itself and perhaps not.
In America, we are watching many things disappear that were once taken to be commonplace when September 11th occurred. For one thing, the price of oil has skyrocketed and the economy is in a slump. In one sense, these events were also affected by the attacksince we live in a world that is much more globally connected than it once was.
In some ways, I think the events of seven years ago were wake up call from God. It seems to me that we disregarded the voices of reason that implored the government to stop this even before it even took place. Therefore, we woke up to a world that was instantly transformed by the smoldering wreckage of airplanes in the World Trade Center.
Such an incomprehensible event as the WTC attacks must be seen in the light of faith in order to be properly understood. God condemned Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them because they did not heed His warnings. Indeed, Abraham kept bargaining with God and said that if he could find ten just men then God would spare the city. I wonder if we are in the same bargaining position today. After all, did not Our Lady warn us at Fatima that things would invariably get worse until her Immaculate Heart triumphed?
Perhaps, we are living through those times that Our Lady spoke of. Indeed, we have been ever since the apparitions at Fatima. We have not come to the end of this age nor have we yet seen the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. But we must continue to pray and sacrifice ourselves for sinners. As Our Lady of La Salette said her Son’s hand would fall on the world if people would not amend their lives.
In light of these things, I often have to wonder how much of the world has heeded Our Lady’s warnings over these last few years. It seems to me that the world isn’t getting any better. Rather, it is getting worse. In my childhood, of course, I didn’t realize how bad things were. But now I do. Year after year, things happen and continue to happen throughout the world that some people see as signs of the times: wars, hurricanes, destructive typhoons, and tornados. Have we really come to the end? Is it really so close? I pray God that it isn’t.
Yet in all of these events, we must continue to pray and sacrifice. This is the only way that we can obtain peace for ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world. If enough people rise up and change their lives, God will not permit another tragedy to occur in our country. It all depends on us.
Let us pray for conversions of all kinds and most especially for the dead, who died today.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!