<body leftmargin="0" rightmargin="0" topmargin="0"> My Wide Blue Seas-Lux Aeterna

My Wide Blue Seas-Lux Aeterna

A Series of Essays Dedicated as a Memorial to the Victims of the 2001 World Trade Center Bombings, September 11, 2001

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Lux Aeterna Table of Contents

Lux Aeterna 2004 Prelude

Lux Aeterna 2004 Day 1

Lux Aeterna 2004 Day 2

Lux Aeterna 2004 Day 3

Lux Aeterna 2004 Day 4

Lux Aeterna 2004 Day 5

Lux Aeterna 2004 Day 6

Lux Aeterna 2004 Day 7

Lux Aeterna 2005 Epilouge

Lux Aeterna 2006 Epilouge

Lux Aeterna 2007 Epilouge

Lux Aeterna 2008 Epilouge

Lux Aeterna Day 0 Prelude

For (we) wait for an eternal city whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:10

courtesy of Webshots

In Him is life, and the life was the Light of Men. And the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not comprehend it. John 1:4-5

The Eternal Light shines in the darkness, the exploration of that light begins 09-05-04.

Lux Aeterna Day One- Hymn

Towers of Light in the footprint of the WTC 2002

Lux Aeterna

Let Eternal Light shine upon them, O Lord
With Thy saints, forever.
For Thou art merciful.

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine on them

"Lux Aeterna" By Edward Elgar

Day 1 Scripture

The City that Never Sleeps NYC at Midnight

Psalm 90

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

You turn man to destruction,
And say, Return, O children of men.
For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
You carry them away like a flood
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up
In the morning it flourishes and grows up
In the evening it is cut down and withers.

For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
For all our days have passed away in Your wrath
We finish our years like a sigh.
The days of our lives are seventy years
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Return, O LORD!
How long?
And have compassion on Your servants.
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory to their children.
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.

From the NASB Translation

Day 1 Essay " Where Were We?"

So Far Away, Hilo, Hawaii

"What were you doing when you heard about 9-11?"

This is a question that one hears often in conjunction with other life affecting events such as the assasination of President John F. Kennedy, or the Apollo Moon Landing. In the three years since that terrible day I have been asked it more times than I can count. I think that this will for many, especially young people, become the seminal moment of their young lives. A devastating, and challenging moment that will profoundly effect how they and of course, the rest of us, think for the rest of our lives.

This question was frequently asked of my husband, John, and I during the weeks and months following the horrible events of 9-11. I think that because we were new arrivals to Hawaii made it even more interesting to some as they found it hard to understand how we could have managed such a difficult move under the challenging circumstances of the times.

And it was more challenging that most knew. We were struggling with grief and in the midst of a personal upheaval that outweighed what was going on, on the other side of the continent. John’s mother had died. We had sold her home, going through the 50 plus years of accumulation, trashing most of it. John learned many things that he never knew about his parents was doing a lot of soul searching. I had sold my beloved "Midway ‘round the Bend", a tiny cottage that I had purchased prior to my marriage, and had poured myself into its renovation. We were leaving friends some childhood friends, and were not going to the arms of friends or family there in the islands. We were packing up our few treasures, buying a container load of new things, saying goodbye to all of our memories and the the familiar, and moving 2750 miles from anywhere, to the Island of Hawaii.

John had lost his mother, I was leaving mine really for the first time and under difficult circumstances. It was a time of personal loss for me as well. I had never done anything like this before and was somewhat terrified but never let it show. This move was for my health, to get me away from the horrendous air pollution of Los Angeles that was slowly stealing my life away...We were also leaving personal failure, roadblocks, and a painfilled time in our lives... We hoped to "remake ourselves" and create a new life... so we hardened ourselved to the pain of leaving all we had ever known. I believe that this hardening prevented me from taking in the events of 9-11, and making them at all personal.

Due to the airlines upheaval and chaos, a trip to Angelfire, New Mexico that had been planned well in advance and our moving dates sort of built around, was changed and turned into a three plus week road trip through the Southwest. During these weeks, as we stayed in empty hotels, traveled empty roads, toured empty national parks, we began to understand the impact nationally of the disaster. Recession in full swing, shops and tourist areas were unpopulated, as so many people canceled their travel plans in fear. We knew too little about what had happened to be afraid. We have no TV. We had not been bombarded with the horrific images. We had no friends in the NYC area, no contacts there. No understanding of the true devestation and the implications of this for everyone in the nation.

The impact of 9-11 was to hit us upon arrival to Hilo on Oct 23, 2001. The promised jobs were no longer available. Shipping had come to a standstill, so the contractor that we had brought our home from wasn’t ready to move out. So we were homeless with three cars, and a 40 foot container full of stuff with no place to go. Fortunately we were able to have a roof over our heads for the duration of this time, in a rented time share, on the backside of the Big Islands desert, lovely Waikoloa. We were discouraged about our house and in grief I think. We spent our days roaming around again not processing that we were attacked and at war.

One year and many adventures, later, while listening to the "Rolling Requiem", the 24 hour continuous performance of Mozart's masterpiece, I realized the enormity of the event of 9-11. I later listened to a broadcast from Los Angeles of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, performing one of my favorite choral works, Lux Aeterna, by Dr. Morten Lauridson. The Lux Aeterna in the Catholic liturgy is a memorial service that is chanted periodically in rememberance of the Departed. This particular, and very moving memorial chorale was written for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and as a message of hope to all that suffer catastrophe. I remember that I began to weep and realize that 9-11 and the struggle I had endured over the past year were intertwined. I had read, heard, discussed and thought of many things but had never wept for those people, and I needed to.

For they are us

The following 5 essays are on different aspects of the events of the World Trade Center Bombing of 2001, based on my experiences of the last three years, and centered around the five movements of the Lux Aeterna. This is not meant to be a history, or a summary of those horrible days, but rather a personal memorial, and conversation with the world about themes surrounding 9-11. The photos attached are ones that for the most part I have seen only in the last year, and are used to help the reader and the author focus on the theme, and as a testament to what took place, and the human story of that terrible day. The sixth piece is the homily given by Dr. Billy Graham at the National Memorial Service. I was at my job that day and watched it in the lunch room and will never forget Dr. Graham’s delivery of the message of divine truth and redemption that could come from this catastrophe. The prayers and choice of scriptures are my own. These writings are meant to be meditations on the profound impact of human events and how we as humans, Americans, and for some of us, people of faith can respond to tragedy. I have linked to Amazon.com for a musical sampling of each of the five movements. I am truly sorry that I cannot link the whole work, but I do not have permission to do so, and Amazon will allow this as long and I am not selling the recording on my own.

This is not a discussion blog. I will not be returning comments and will deleate any that I deem inappropriate for this site. These are my views, my thoughts and my feelings. As I said, this is not meant to be a fourm for discussion, but rather a place for me to record my thoughts and to try to write about ideas that I have had for a long time. It is a vehicle for creative expression and to honor the fallen and the grieving. You are welcome to comment, but keep it clean and civil.

I cannot give all the credits that are due. Some of these photos are public domain, courtesy of stockxcng.com. others are not. Some I pulled off of sites in my early days of websurfing, when I didnt know I shouldnt. One photo in particular I know could offend, another our government tried to suppress but I'm posting them anyway! Should this work be published I will pursue crediting vigorously. If a work needs credit please use the comment section at the foot of each section to let me know. I will try to update this often.

After this week of memorial, these works will be permanently stored at www.mywideblueseasLuxAeterna.blogspot.com. Please address comments and concerns to mywideblueseasluxaeterna@gmail.com

May the Lux Aeterna, the Eternal Light, shine upon you this Lord's Day...

Day 1 Prayer

Lady Liberty at Twilight

Father God,
as I look upon this photo, a place where I have stood once and thanked You for the freedoms that I enjoy, I realize the enormity of the human suffering that has occurred in this place. Grant that I may come to understand the power of Your redemptive work in the face of calamity, and that I may show a greater compassion born out of that understanding. Bless the survivors that were directly effected by the event and those of us that were touched by it even at a great distance, throught the Blood of your Son and the power of Your Holy Spirit heal us we pray in Jesus Name. Amen

Day 1 Credits

Central Park Mahattan Skyline.

Photos, WBS LLc, stckxcng.com.

Are these your photos? Please contact me for credit

Editoral Content the property of Wide Blue Seas LLc all rights reserved

Lux Aeterna- Day Two-Text-"Intriotus"

The WTC at sunset

Lux Aeterna- Introitus

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them

A hymn befits You, O God, in Zion
And to You a vow shall be fulfilled in Jerusalem

Hear my prayer
For unto You all flesh shall come

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them

Day 2 Scriptures

Subway Train NYC

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
"Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us."

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The LORD shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:

Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Psalm 2:1-5,10-12

The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.
Psalms 37:12-15

"Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom:
She had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness;
neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy
Ezekiel 16:49 NKJV

Day 2 Essay "Why Do The Nations Rage?"

Baby dressed as homicide bomber AP photo

Why Do the Nation’s Rage?

“Don’t you think the bombers were motivated by actions taken by the prior administration?”

“YOU don’t understand…when you have no hope, you do desperate things…”

“It goes back to the Crusades…these people have long memories…”

“It was a Israeli conspiracy, no Jews died.”

“People see movies, television shows, videos, and are jealous and resentful, Americans have everything and they feel they have nothing and are angry. So they choose to die…”

“People’s religion’s can drive them to all sorts of things…look, you can’t point your finger at Islam, haven’t Christians killed abortion doctors and bombed clinics?”

These are statements that I have had said to me over the course of the last three years and even further back. Pen pals from Europe and the Middle East, customers and people on the internet have all had reasons why the world seems to hate the United States. From our conspicuous consumption, perceived loose morals, and globalization, to our overwhelming superiority militarily. I have pondered the reasons for the overwhelming dislike that the world seems to have of my country . Iraq conflict not with standing, this conflict has been a long time coming. No one could have expected for the attacks to be so spectacular and effective. After all, we too are guilty of having narrow vision. We would have never believed that islamic bandits could be so sophisticated in their terror.

We are the lone Superpower. We are the survivor of the Cold War, soundly defeating the Soviets at their own game. Let the critics say that it was eventually going to happen. I say that was not the case as do many other people that I know that were living there, in nations behind the Iron Curtain. They were going to do what they had to do to maintain the status quo and quite frankly it was the prayers of the persecuted saints and the faith of one man and his vision of a better future that God honored…There are many in the Russian government that hate us for that. Hate that we ended their control of a vast empire and unleashed the islamic madness upon them. They resent the change that brought poverty to so many and decimated the culture that they grew up in. They had planned to retire or live out their lives under the cradle to grave care of the Communist State. They are, as a people, virulently Anti Semitic and hate Israel and all it stands for. It is this that allowed those that had access to Weapons of Mass Destruction to put them into the hands of mad men for a price. And with the tragedy of the mass killing at the school this week they hate us even more. Do not for a moment think that Moscow is our friend, for was it not the Russians that said that “Revenge is a dish that is best served cold?”. One day they will lift up their heel against America. It is also my belief that one day the Russian Army will join the Islamists for a great attack against Israel and be soundly defeated.

Our position as the Lone Superpower has stirred the resentment of Western Europe. As a prideful continent of old cultures, we as an upstart nation formed by revolutionary colonials, the fact that we have supplanted them on the world stage wounds their haughty pride like nothing else. First as anguished supplicants of our military help in two world wars, then as recipients of the money and manpower to rebuild the war ruined cities of the Continent. Our military bases formed a line of protection and separation between Communism's hunger for control and the Free World’s open marketplace. But gratitude is like a garment given, then when worn too long, it begins to chafe and smell,so has the resentment has been building for a long time. It cropped up as early as the 1950’s When the French wanted the American military presence removed from France. Then president Eisenhower said” and shall we remove our dead solders from the cemeteries on your coastline as well?” Today we have the Green’s in Germany clamoring for the removal of our bases. How quickly they forget Berlins wall!

Our material wealth, our natural resources and ability to gain access to the resources in other nations is a source of hatred and envy. There is little understanding of the effort that brought this about. For 200 years we in the United States have been the hardest working most productive society ever seen on this planet. We have taken risks, learned the skills of negotiation, and have come along side great enterprises. We have the highest percentage of our population gainfully employed than any other nation on earth and this has been true for much of the last 100 years. This creates wealth. America has accepted the immigrants of every nation, especially those that were not accepted in their own countries. It is precisely this cast off genius that was the resource for innovative ideas and generated great innovations in every field. The Melting Pot is the source of renewed life in every walk of life. It brings challenges and conflict, but it also brings renewed hope. Free Enterprise; the ability to take a dream and turn it into a reality is America’s gift to the world.

Our political system is a model of democratic process. No other country prior to ours had ever been founded on such principles. Yes there have been problems, but on the whole for a young country and a new idea, it has gone very well. The very idea that even the least person and women should have a say in the political life of a nation is enough to drive certain groups into a rage. The fact that we as a nation would want this for their own people and are prepared to do what it takes to see that come about threatens them to the point of madness. Intertwined in that thought is the freedom to practice our faith how we see fit. The fact that our faiths and their faith are different, and therefore, in conflict is like throwing gasoline onto a fire... Thus in an act of faith, and to preserve their perverted vision of how the world should be, Four airplanes were used as weapons of mass destruction on that cloudless September day.

There were celebrations in many places on that dreadful day. There were those that felt a incurable blow had been struck against the giant America. People cheered in the streets in many towns Im told even in some areas of New York City, and handed out candies and sweets. I still do not understand this, for even if I hated someone, I couldn’t hate them to death, especially people that I didn’t know. I shudder to think of a faith like that. A religion of death, nothing life affirming in it, for if there was, there would not have been dancing in the streets of Muslim towns as the burning towers collapsed and people jumped to their deaths...

I firmly believe that the answer is spiritual. The hatred of America is less about the globalization of Big Macs than it is about the fact that that many of us have a faith that they abhor. Islam teaches that the Muslim is of a higher order than others and its this smug superiority that allows them to commit the heinous acts against others with no feelings of guilt or shame. Islam teaches world dominance and that all should have to convert or die. There are those that take that charge seriously and are trying to implement that charge. This is not a new effort, for the Muslim armies marched on Europe as late as the 16th century and there have been inroads since in smaller waves . Currently the conquest is being undertaken by attrition and much of Europe is under the sway of the mosque, via immigration. One cannot discount the “Eurabia” effect in the resentment of America by the Europeans.

The Islamists hate America for its vigorous support of the nation of Israel, for our firm belief that the Jewish people have an ancestral and moral right to these lands that many purchased with money, settled for ownership and later sacrificed for with the blood of her sons and daughters. The whole Palestinian Question is bogus, and is simply a land grab. Most in the Arab world know this, few in the west understand how history has been rewritten to support the violence and brutality that has taken place in the so called Occupied Territories. But this is not a form for that discussion, however it is one of the driving forces I believe, that lead to the murderous thinking and ultimate execution of the evil deeds of that day in September.

With that in mind let us be more vigorous in protecting our heritage as a free nation. Let us not submit to the rage and live in fear. Let us walk boldly into the future knowing that we serve a God that sees and will vindicate the righteous. Let us understand and try to exercise compassion where possible and firmness when needed. America needs to remain a leader. We need to stay strong and resist the terror blackmail. We need to resist every effort being made to distance ourselves from the only truly democratic state in the region, Israel, and we must not forget that God promises over and over in His Word that those who are true friends to His people are friends of His, and will receive His special blessings. We also need to, as a people turn our face back to God and seek Him. God is our only protection against the adversary that we face… In truth, God is our only hope.

Day 2 Prayer

Quiet Street NYC

O King of the Nations, Prince of Peace,
Look down upon your children.
Forgive us of the sins of pride and arrogance.
Help us to remember that much of the world has little,
You have blessed us with much,
including the freedom to worship You openly.
Strengthen us against the false religion that would claim us
And bring us under its sway.
Help us to remain united if the face of those that would prevail against us.
Thank You for the gift of America.
May she remain a nation strong in faith and purpose
Always giving You the Glory
Through Jesus Christ , Our Lord,

Day 2 Credits

Chinatown, NYC

Photos,Ap/Newsweek for the “Baby Bomber,” WBS LLc, stckxcng.com. Are these your photos? Please contact me for credit
Editoral Content the property of Wide Blue Seas LLc all rights reserved

Lux Aeterna Day 3 Text- In Te, Domine Speravi

Point of Impact

Lux Aeterna: In Te, Domine Speravi
(Light Eternal, In You Lord, I have put my trust…)

To deliver us, You became human
And did not distain the Virgins womb.
Having blunted the sting of death,
You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
A light has risen in the darkness for the upright!

Have mercy upon us, o Lord,
Have mercy upon us!
Let your mercy be upon us, o Lord,
As we have trusted in You.
In You, O Lord, have I trusted
Let me never be confounded

Day 3 Scripture

Leap Towords Heaven

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 58:8-9

For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 18:32

As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. "Yet the children of your people say, 'The way of the LORD is not fair Ezekiel 33:11,17a

Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones. Psalms 116:15

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD. JEREMIAH 29:11-14

Day 3 Essay-How Could a Loving God Allow This To Happen?

WTC Tower Explosion

How Could a Loving God Allow This To Happen?

“If there is a God, he would never have allowed so many to die so horribly!”

“God is Love,…right., Then which God was in charge on 9-11 the hijackers Allah or your Jesus?”

“Jesus saves but not on 9-11.”

"Loving God?...He should have stopped them before they murdered so many people!"

I could go on and on. I saw in papers and received queries like this in penpal mail. I saw the “Jesus saves” comment on a bill board as we were driving that late September 2001. My thoughts were “ Lord, don’t these people understand that we all have a free will and can choose to do evil or good..? “The truth is that since the garden of Eden, bad things have happened to good people. Abel slain by Cain, and so on. God doesn’t will it so, but He does allow it for His purpose to bring us closer to Himself.

When we talk about the purposes of God, and how they relate to a singular event like 9-11, I really think that making assumptions about those purposes close to the event is erroneous and even dangerous. We are still recovering from the shock of the event. We are still in the midst of the smoke and the burning. We cant know really what the event is let alone perceive the ultimate outcome.

That’s why, as I watched in the lunchroom of my employer and I heard thing like, “God is going to use this to bring revival…” ect. That I thought “ Well could be, but I don’t think so” Sure enough the churches were full for two weeks, but I think that its safe to say that now that 3 years have past, the there has been negligible spiritual awakening here in America. That is very sad but true.

So, you ask? Are you not going to say why you think that God allowed those four planes to be used as weapons and be the demise of so many innocent souls? No. I don’t know. I don’t understand why. When I see photos like the burning man jumping to his death, or as I listened to the phone call placed by Todd Beamer on flight 73, knowing that he was going to die but praying anyway with that operator…you want to scream out,” Why? Why? Why?”…and there are no answers. I must say this, I serve a omnipotent omnipresent God that knew from the foundation of the world that this terrible murder would take place . None of those people that died were there by chance. God knew that those deceived tools of the devil were training all of those years to do this horrible thing. It wasn’t a surprise to Him.

God gave us an incredible gift when He made us. He breathed on Adam and he became a living soul. He became a reasoning being, one that knows right from wrong and can make choices about what we do. We are not robots, or even animals that function on instinct. We are separate individuals that choose how we will live and interact with our fellow humans.

Those men chose to hijack those planes. I know from what I have read that only a few of them knew before they left the airport that they were on a suicide mission. When they were told I cannot guess. Can you imagine what they thought about as they boarded those planes? Were there any regrets? Were they scared that if they backed out family would be killed in retribution. We know very little about most of them. Do you not think that God did not try one last time to speak to each of them, that the Holy Spirit didn’t try to intervene? Of course He did, and they chose not to listen. They chose to dwell on the false promises of a martyrs paradise that the radial imams teach are the reward of the killers of the infidel. They chose to chant the prayers of the cult of Islam rather than to call upon the name of the Living God… What, to my mind is the greatest tragedy of the whole 9-11 experience is the uselessness of it all. It accomplished nothing but destroyed the lives of thousands and they, the perpetrators, by reason of their deeds alone on that day, are in hell as a result. The devil’s deception worked and his evil deeds were done. The death cult of Islam claimed yet more victims, both the innocent and the perpetrators.

Did a loving God allow the terrible events of 9-11 to happen? Yes of course. But this wasn’t His perfect will for any of those involved. He calls all of us to repentance and to walk in newness of life. I read recently that President Bush feels that Osama bin Laden is beyond salvation. As much as I respect and even admire him, I disagree. I believe that my God can and will save anyone that calls out to Him. No sin is so great that God will not forgive it if you ask it of Him and turn from your evil ways and seek His Face. He would have saved any of the hijackers, any of the passengers, any of those in the World Trade Center and any of us if we will just allow Him to. If you have not asked God to forgive you of your sins and to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and King, Your Messiah and Savior, please do it now. Do not delay. We do not know the day or the hour of our deaths. The horrible events of September 11 teach us well to number our days, that they are numbered and we will be called to account for them, some of us sooner than we think.

Day 3 -Prayer

"Committed" 2nd aircraft just prior to impact of tower 2 of the World Trade Center

Loving God That Sees, All Knowing One, I look upon this photo and think about those people on the plane and those that were in the building and its so hard to think of Your love in a situation like this, but it was there. Help us to not look upon the circumstances but to keep our eyes on You. Let me be as committed to the truth of Your Word as these hijackers were to the lie of their false religion. Let all those that are seeking the truth find You. Comfort the hurting, and the confused and lead this nation forward on Your paths and in Your ways. For the sake of the Blood of Your Only Son we ask it, Amen

Day 3 Credits

Tower Explodes, WTC 9-11-01

Photos, WBS LLc, stckxcng.com.

Are these your photos? Please contact me for credit

Editoral Content the property of Wide Blue Seas LLc all rights reserved

Lux Aeterna Day 4 Text- O Nata Lux

Through the Storm

Lux Aeterna- O Nata Lux
(Eternal Light; Born of Light)

O Light, born of Light,
Jesus, Redeemer of the world
Mercifully deem worthy and accept the praises
and the prayers of your supplicants.
You, who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
for the sake of the lost ones,
grant us to be made members of Your holy body.

Day 4 Scriptures

Running From Hell

We praise You, Lord God Almighty,
Who Was and Is and Is To Come,
You have assumed Your great power,
You have begun Your reign.

The nations have raged in anger,
But then came the day of Your wrath,
And the moment to judge the dead,
And the time to reward Your servants the prophets,
And the holy ones that revere You,
The great and small alike.

Now have Salvation and Power come,
The reign of our God and the authority of His Christ!
For the accuser of our brethren is cast out!
Who day and night accused them before the throne of God!

They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb,
And the word of their testimony
Their love for their lives did not deter them from death.

So rejoice, you heavens
And you that dwell within.

Rev 11:17-18,12:10b-12a
(taken from the Benedictine Shorter Daily Office)

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
John 15:13

Day 4 Essay-“Cataclysm, Heroism, Sacrifice and Survival,”

Stairwell Escape

“Cataclysm, Heroism, Sacrifice and Survival,”

I heard a chilling quote from the report from the 9-11 Commission, that the first casualty suffered by the New York City Fire Department was at 9:38 am and is was because the fireman was struck and killed by a falling casualty from one of the upper floors. It is beyond this writers comprehension…The man was struck and killed by a dead or soon to be dead human being. And he wasn’t the only one that day to die in such a grotesque manner.

We have heard tales of incredible sacrifice, devotion to duty, courage, bravery, desperate hope…heroism. All in the face of the most horrendous circumstances imaginable. In a cataclysm, in circumstances beyond what was conceived prior to this terrible day, people stood up, and gave of themselves…gave up themselves, to save others, to help others even if they were not going to be saved, but so that those final moments would be easier for that other person.

I have found those stories to be the jewels recovered from the rubble and ruin of the disasters of 9-11.This is the true lesson we can grasp onto when we look at this from the long view of history. That America and Americans, as a people are the most giving, self sacrificing people on this earth as a group. It has been proved out time and time again of the course of decades of our existence as a nation.

I wish I could name all of the names, that I knew all of the particulars of each story. But I don’t. I just know that as I have heard each one, that I have often gasped at the wonder of the self sacrifice and the dignity of so many that lost everything . From people who stayed with those that were too injured to escape on their own inside the World Trade Center, to the passengers of Flight 93, who very likely saved many lives by trying to retake the aircraft from the hijackers, to the army sergeant that rescued many people inside the Pentagon, instead of just saving his own skin. And should anyone wonder about our government officials,... refusing help and to be taken to a place of safety, the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld was rescuing the injured from the flaming Pentegon just minutes into the disaster. The valiant efforts of the firemen, policemen and ordinary citizens to care for the injured and the bodies of the dead will go down in history as a collective finest hour… that as traumatized as they were, everyone did everything they could to help even as the buildings collapsed on top of them.

All of this heroism didn’t just happen. I believe that deep down in our heart of hearts, we as Americans are like this. We have been imbued with this spirit of shoulder to shoulder “can do” spirit from the cradle. It is in us to rise to the challenges thrown at us and to immediately “circle the wagons” so to speak, when disasters strike. We follow the code of the Marine, to never leave a brother or sister in arms behind in combat, and in a situation like this that means everybody. This very attitude is one that even though the hijackers stayed among us all of those years never quite understood. A full dozen people on Flight 73 each had a plan to thwart the hijackers. Their courage was not anticipated by the murderers. Neither was the way the country united against them so quickly and refused to allow them to disrupt our way of life.

The American People are the heros of 9-11 as well.

I also believe that it is the Spirit of God at work among us. How many of those that gave their all were people of faith? How many of those that courageously looked to the needs of others before themselves, even to the point of losing their own lives, knew that a greater reward awaited them. The testimony of the Righteous still speaks to us as those in the past speak to us today from years gone by. The example set by those brave men and women on that terrible September day should remind us that in the next moment an accounting could be made of us, and what we are made of deep down inside. I hope that I am ready to do as the heroes of 9-11 did, be selfless and courageous in the face of danger. For danger is all around us, ever knocking upon our door.

Day 4 Prayer

Tower One Hero

Father of Mercies, Light to the Nations, hear our prayers of gratitude for these that served and gave of their all to help those in need on that terrible day. Help us as a nation to never forget their sacrifice or their heroism. Grant them and their families peace knowing that You are with them.Give us the courage to do likewise should such actions be required of us. In Jesus Name.

Day 4 Credits

Saving the Fallen

Photos, WBS LLc, stckxcng.com.
With many thanks to September 11 News dot com for their data base.
Are these your photos? Please contact me for credit
Editoral Content the property of Wide Blue Seas LLc all rights reserved

Lux Aeterna Day 5 Text-Veni Sancte Spiritus

Falling Towords Eternity

Lux Aeterna Veni Sancte Spiritus
(Light Eternal-Come, Holy Spirit)

Come, Holy Spirit, send forth from heaven the ray of Your light
Come, Father of the poor, come Giver of Gifts, Come light of our heart.
You best of Consolers, sweet guest of the soul, sweet refreshment.
In labor, You are rest, in heat, the tempering, in grief, the consolation.
O Light most blessed, fill the innermost heart of all of Your faithful.
Without your grace, there is nothing in us
nothing that is not harmful.
Cleanse what is sordid, moisten what is arid, heal what is hurt.
Flex what is rigid, fire what is frigid, correct what goes astray.
Grant to Your faithful, those trusting in You,
Your sacred seven fold gifts
Grant the reward of virtue
Grant the deliverance of salvation
Grant everlasting joy.

Day 5 Scriptures

The Last Farewell

O LORD, I have come to you for protection;
don't let me be put to shame.
Rescue me, for you always do what is right.
Bend down and listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be for me a great rock of safety,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this peril.

Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.

I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God.

I hate those who worship worthless idols.
I trust in the LORD.

I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.

You have not handed me over to my enemy
but have set me in a safe place.

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress.
My sight is blurred because of my tears.
My body and soul are withering away.

I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness.
Misery has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within.

I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
plotting to take my life.

But I am trusting you, O LORD,
saying, "You are my God!"

My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.

Let your favor shine on your servant.
In your unfailing love, save me.

Don't let me be disgraced, O LORD,
for I call out to you for help.
Let the wicked be disgraced;
let them lie silent in the grave.

May their lying lips be silenced-
those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.

Your goodness is so great!
You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you.
You have done so much for those who come to you for protection,
blessing them before the watching world.

You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence,
far from accusing tongues.

Praise the LORD,
for he has shown me his unfailing love.
He kept me safe when my city was under attack.

In sudden fear I had cried out,
"I have been cut off from the LORD!"
But you heard my cry for mercy
and answered my call for help.

Love the LORD, all you faithful ones!
For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him,
but he harshly punishes all who are arrogant.

So be strong and take courage,
all you who put your hope in the LORD!
Psalm 31

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
Isaiah 8:12

Day 5 Essay-Quiet Dead...Unquiet Living

Anguished onlookers to Devastation

Quiet Dead Unquiet Living

We have heard the tales of the cell phone calls. The people making them were staring death in the face. “There are hijackers…The plane is going down…, “I am trapped in the building and there is no way out and I cannot force myself to jump…” My friend, or co-workers or employees are trapped up here and I shall not leave them to die alone.” That last from the head of a brokerage firm to the recipient of the call, as he stayed with a paraplegic employee that in no way could have made it down the stairs…For the most part, the callers were calm, eerily calm. Supernaturally calm. Afraid, most defiantly but a calmness that was at total odds with the circumstances. The courage that sustained them in those final moments I believe was in direct proportion to their faith and hope in God, and an inner strength that is the result of coming to grips with ones own mortality long before a situation like this occurs. I must say that I have read that in some of the photos of the falling, some of the expressions were not peaceful, others were. We can never know what was going on in the hearts of those people who were expending their last breath here in this life. That is between them and Almighty God.

There were other victims, that were serving the community that died in that service. There was a steadiness and directness in their efforts even in the chaos of the moment. Many knew that they could or would die in the service of their fellow man but they went on and did what they could. Their sacrifice gave us a new vision of heroism, of grace under pressure and strength under fire.

They are the quiet dead. The dead that in their sacrifice still speak to us of the need to understand that we have so little time on this earth and we do not know the day or the hour of our departure form this vale of tears. My favorite verse of scripture is from
Psalm 90 verse 12 which says “ so teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom. “ The greatest wisdom is to have our life in order so that when such calamity strikes we are prepared

I would now point out a fact that most everyone over looks as they examine this tragedy. Truly the dead are not the greatest victims of 9-11. on the contrary, it is the living, the survivors and the families of the departed ones that are traumatized beyond imagining. I cannot imagine myself watching someone jump from a 80 story blown out window, or being the rescue worker finding bits and pieces of a friend or a coworker. The horror of the day has lead a number of truly courageous firemen and rescue workers into a downward spiral that ultimately led them to commit suicide. How tragic, for we all know that all that could be done was done.

For the family of a victim it’s a daily continuing grinding pain that goes on and on. You are a wife with out a husband, a parent with out a child. You are little children with out one or both of your parents and some communities lost hundreds of members. You are the city that has lost its innocence and a nation that has lost its security and peace of mind…never to recover it again

We are a world that has been forever changed. Nothing is looked at now without viewing it through the prism of the events of 9-11. Can you think of a day since that nightmare day in 2001 that you have not even fleetingly thought about it or its been brought to mind? Thanks to the wonder of television we have all seen the towers fall at least 5000 times…that too was a victimization and I think a bit over the top.

We all saw the women of the 9-11 Commission. No, not the ladies on the panel but the wives and the mothers wanting answers as to how could this have happened to us? To the greatest nation on earth the most powerful and mighty and all knowing, I think that they cant realize that it is precisely that which makes us such a choice target, and the very reason why it happened and how it was allowed to happen. I felt their pain…I truly did. Even as I believe that they were being used for political purposes, I saw the pain filled faces of the victim. They are the victims not the loved ones blown to bits. Rather, the lives blown to bits, the futures blown to bits, and the dreams that lay a dying on the pavement, on the September day that we all wish didn’t happen.

I have often been asked for a “Why”...”Why would God…?” Because I have experienced a bit of tragedy myself, I can answer the question this way…”Its not always about the victim.” Yes, do I think that God dealt with the thousands of people that died that day? Of course. Do I think that it was chance? No it was not. God knew that every person there would be there. Nothing catches Him by surprise. No I look at the events and I think about what the Bible says…

In Job we read about a man that was caught unawares by calamity and we see his response to the loss of his wealth, his livelihood, his family and his good name.

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD."

In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Job 1:20-22

When stricken with loathsome sores on his body he is challenged by his wife to curse God. His reply is remarkable
But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 2:10

As certainly as Job was caught unawares by calamity so were all those that faced death that day .How they responded then and how we respond today is the answer to the “Why” question. For I believe with all of my heart that very often the trials that we face are NOT just about us in particular but are about everyone that comes in contact with that trial…and in this instance that means the entire world. We choose to be victims and continuing victims, or we choose to thank God for His faithfulness no matter how bad it seems at a given moment. That is victory. That is triumphing over the enemy. As the young men in the book of Daniel who were about to be thrown into a furnace so hot that the men throwing them in were killed, said to the tormentors, "We may be delivered,or not by our God, who can say? But we will not give ourselves over to the Pagan Gods. We will serve the True and Living God, and not give lip service to the enemy" By choosing to stand up for ourselves and not giving into the demands of the thugs, we are speaking out for God and His Christ.

Its not about the jumpers or the dead firemen, its about us everyone of us and how we are going to respond to this… day in and day out.

Day 5 Prayer

The Long March Home

Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the Only Wise God, to You we give glory in the face of calamity. We ask for Your strength in the face of a terrible adversary that would immobilize us with fear. We ask for your comfort in the face of cruel losses. We ask for your grace as we pick up the pieces of ruined lives and for families, that seek to go on from here. Comfort the grieving, give hope to the hurting and peace to the unquiet souls that seek day in and day out to try to understand the un understandable. It is beyond us, but nothing is beyond You. In the Name of your Dear Son we ask it…Amen

Day 5 Credits

Greiving at Ground Zero

Photos, WBS LLc, stckxcng.com.

Are these your photos? Please contact me for credit
Editoral Content the property of Wide Blue Seas LLc all rights reserved

Lux Aeterna-Day 6- Text- Agnus Dei

Lone Fireman in the rubble of the WTC

Lux Aeterna-Angus Dei

Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world
Grant unto them rest

Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world,
Grant unto them rest.

Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world,
Grant unto them rest everlasting.

May Eternal Light shine upon them, O Lord,
In the company of Your saints forever and ever
For You are merciful…

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them

Day 6 Scriptures

The Rifle, Boots and Helmet of the Fallen, Solders memorial service Afganistan

Blessed be the Lord, My Rock,
Who trains my arms for war,
And my hands for battle!

He is my Love, My Fortress:
My Stronghold, My Savior
My Shield, My Place of Refuge.
He brings peoples under my rule.

Lord, what is man that You care for him?
Mortal man, that You keep him in mind?
Man, who is merely a breath,
Whose life fades like a passing shadow.

Lower Your heavens ad come down.
Touch the mountains: wreath them in smoke
Flash Your lightnings: rout the foe!
Shoot Your arrows and put them to flight!

Reach down from heaven and save me!
Draw me out of the mighty waters,
From the hand of a silent foe!
Whose mouth is filled with lies
Whose hands are raised in perjury

To You , O Lord I will sing a new song!
I will play on the harp of ten strings.
To You who give kings their victory
Who set Your servant, David free!

Psalms 144:1-10

From the Shorter Morning and Evening Prayer Book
Of the Benedictine Congregation of North America

Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
So the people answered and said: "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. Joshua 24:15-17

Day 6 Essay Freedom isn't Free

The Human Cost of Freedom, Fallen Heros in the war against terror and despotism

Essay “ Freedom isn’t Free”

This is the most difficult of these essays to write, for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is ongoing. We will be there for years to come. That is what the situation calls for, and we have answered the call as we have previously answered that call under nearly ever circumstance possible. Either overtly or covertly, our armed forces have gone before us and served with distinction in every theatre where we were called upon to serve. This has taken our young men and now women to every corner of the globe, to fight for the cause of liberty

For over 200 years the United States of America has been to the world a beacon of hope, “a Shining City on a Hill,” as former President Reagan liked to say, a place where people could come and be what God made them to be. A free people, a self directing people. It was a first in all of history that this type of society was to come into being, and then to flower. It is a vision that many nations or groups of people within nations would like to emulate, for with freedom brings that hope that springs eternal in every breast, that yearning to choose ones destiny.

With that freedom comes responsibility. The responsibility to vote, to obey the laws of the land, and to serve to protect the nation and the freedoms that we so enjoy. Sometimes we disagree with our government about how these things are decided and how they come about. That is the privilege that the armed forces of our country fight for the most vigorously, the right to dissent.

We need to remember that this right is not found in many countries in the world.
To publicly disagree with the government of many nations would get you thrown into prison or even killed. This is certainly true of the nations that are held under the sway of Islam. Like the brutal communist regimes that ruled much of Europe and north Asia for the last century, Islam and the radical religionaries that control the governments of the Middle East, will not allow any dissent, either of the politics or the religion that you must proscribe to at the risk of your life. Out of this morass came the murderers of September 11, and the mastermind of that attack, who hates us as a nation , as a system of government, and our freedom of faith.

There is much debate around the country to weather this war is “just”, or “right” or even “necessary”, I would not go into the politics of it all, but I will say this. There were 15 million Iraqis suffering under a brutal dictator, that was an exporter of Weapons of Mass Destruction, terrorism, (he paid bonuses to homicide bombers in Israel). Iraq’s evil regime murdered hundreds of thousands of people and threw them in mass graves. Maimed and tortured, gassed whole villages…I say to rid the world of that is a good thing. Would to God we could do that every where that it was needed.

I have met a number of dissenters, flag burners, anarchists, and those that see America as the root of all evil. I remind them that the very reason that they have the right to protest, the right to burn the flag, and to say what they say in public was bought with a price. The very blood of Americas finest. The solders that they decry as evil are the ones that laid down their lives for them, for their precious rights that they cling to. They forget the cost, the gift, and the giver, and hold their liberty way too cheaply.

I come from a family that has many generations of proud military service. I have stood at Gettysburg knowing that I had relatives on both sides that day. Those men believed in what they were fighting for. My father’s grandfather fought in the “Great War” in England, my Father in WWII, maternal uncles in the Korean conflict. My present husband served in combat zones in Vietnam, and though he never personally had to fire a weapon, his life was still at risk. My former husband served in the late 70’s perhaps the worst time in our history for a man to serve in our demeaned armed forces, but he did it. Two men that I dated in the early 90's were deployed to Kuwait. My brother volunteered and served his time in the USMC when terrorism was starting to become an issue. Three of his friends died in the bombing of the Marine Corp Barracks in 1983, a broken ankle stopped his deployment to Lebanon or today I would be writing this as a bereaved sister of a terror victim….

Our armed forces have served, have given of their number to more nations than any other military in history. Not for the cause of empire or conquest. Not for the cause of imperialism, but in the cause of liberty. We fight that others might have the right to live and be free as we are. Sometimes that has meant combat, other times it has meant to just be there, the line in the sand as it were. In every case, it has been the right thing to do. Even in such cases as Vietnam, where the methods were bad, but not the motives, nor the young men that did their duty by serving. The individual solder was valiant even if the management was corrupt.

I want the world to know that I have yet to meet a service man or woman that regretted their decision to serve even in war time. Even in the controversy surrounding the deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, they still enlist, they still reenlist and I salute them for their courage in the face of adversity at home and abroad for they show us the true meaning of the word “Patriot”.

When I see pictures like the one below, I see the other patriots. In the Bible when King David was at war, he divided his army, one part to go to the fight and the other to “stay with the stuff.” And they received equal part of the spoil of victory. I would give equal parts gratitude to those that stay behind and tend the wounds of the injured and God forbid, lose a loved one in combat. They are also patriots, and worthy of the highest honor for they have given all for the nations weal. They will tell you that Freedom isn’t Free . The continuing sacrifices of such as these insure the future of our great nation and that it will continue to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

Day 6 Prayer

Receiving the Flag- Iraq War widow receiving the flag that draped her husbands coffin.

Oh God, The Victorious Warrior, Lord of Everything, we thank you for our nation and for those that have gone before us to give of themselves even unto death, to preserve our nation. Strengthen our Armed Forces this day. Let each man and woman feel a touch from you, Ease homesickness and pain from injury, bring comfort and rest to the weary. Bring the conflict to a speedy end and our troops home to us. Remind us each and every day how much we have to be thankful for, and how we should show gratitude to these that have given so much. In the name of Your Son, Faithful and True, we pray, Amen

Day 6 Credits

AP/ Getty, used with permission, Comming Home, Returning from Afganistan

Photos, WBS LLc, stckxcng.com. AP/ Getty Images, used with permission

Are these your photos? Please contact me for credit
Editoral Content the property of Wide Blue Seas LLc all rights reserved

Lux Aeterna Day 7 Hymn

Priest Blessing a Mysterious Cross. Many crosses were found in the rubble from the Twin Towers. These were steel beams that when the building colapsed, formed crosses along weld lines. A number of them have been saved and dedicated as memorial sculptures.

Lux Aeterna- Hymn - Light Unending

Day is done, but love unfailing,
Dwells ever here.
Shadows fall, but hope, prevailing,
Calms every fear.
Loving Father, none forsaking,
Take our hearts, of Loves own making,
Watch our sleeping, guard our waking,
Be always near.

Dark descends, but Light Unending
Shines through our night.
You are with us, ever lending,
New strength to sight;
One in love, Your Truth confessing,
One in hope, of Heaven's Blessing,
May we see, in Love's possessing,
Love's endless Light!

Eyes will close, but You unsleeping,
Watch by our side.
Death may come: in Love's safe keeping
Still we abide.
God of love, all evil quelling,
Sin forgiving, fear dispelling
Stay with us, our hearts indwelling,
This eventide.

From the Shorter Morning and Evening Prayerbook
of the Benedictine Congregation of North America

Day 7 Scriptures

St Patricks Cathedral NYC

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, it is the gift of God.

I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.
That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-12,14,15

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Day 7 Message

A mourner overcome with grief one year later at the 2002 services at Ground Zero

Billy Graham: Address at the Episcopal National Cathedral

Delivered 14 September,2001, Washington D.C. on the Occasion of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance

President and Mrs. Bush, I want to say a personal word on behalf of many people. Thank you, Mr. President, for calling this day of prayer and remembrance. We needed it at this time.
We come together today to affirm our conviction that God cares for us, whatever our ethnic, religious, or political background may be. The Bible says that He's the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles. No matter how hard we try, words simply cannot express the horror, the shock, and the revulsion we all feel over what took place in this nation on Tuesday morning. September eleven will go down in our history as a day to remember.
Today we say to those who masterminded this cruel plot, and to those who carried it out, that the spirit of this nation will not be defeated by their twisted and diabolical schemes. Someday, those responsible will be brought to justice, as President Bush and our Congress have so forcefully stated. But today we especially come together in this service to confess our need of God.
We've always needed God from the very beginning of this nation, but today we need Him especially. We're facing a new kind of enemy. We're involved in a new kind of warfare. And we need the help of the Spirit of God. The Bible words are our hope: God is our refuge and strength; an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
But how do we understand something like this? Why does God allow evil like this to take place? Perhaps that is what you are asking now. You may even be angry at God. I want to assure you that God understands these feelings that you may have. We've seen so much on our television, heard on our radio, stories that bring tears to our eyes, and make us all feel a sense of anger. But God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.
But what are some of the lessons we can learn? First, we are reminded of the mystery and reality of evil. I've been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept by faith that God is sovereign, and He's a God of love, and mercy, and compassion in the midst of suffering. The Bible says that God is not the author of evil. It speaks of evil as a mystery. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7 it talks about the mystery of iniquity. The old testament prophet Jeremiah said 'The heart is deceitful above all things' and beyond cure. 'Who can understand it?' He asked that question, 'Who can understand it?' And that's one reason we each need God in our lives.
The lesson of this event is not only about the mystery of iniquity and evil, but secondly it's a lesson about our need for each other. What an example New York and Washington have been to the world these past few days. None of us will ever forget the pictures of our courageous firefighters and police, many of whom have lost friends and colleagues. Or the hundreds of people attending or standing patiently in line to donate blood. A tragedy like this could have torn our country apart. But instead it has united us, and we have become a family. So those perpetrators who took this on to tear us apart, it has worked the other way -- it's back lashed. It's backfired. We are more united than ever before. I think this was exemplified in a very moving way when the members of our Congress stood shoulder to shoulder the other day and sang "God Bless America."
Finally, difficult as it may be for us to see right now, this event can give a message of hope -- hope for the present, and hope for the future. Yes, there is hope. There's hope for the present, because I believe the stage has already been set for a new spirit in our nation. One of the things we desperately need is a spiritual renewal in this country. We need a spiritual revival in America. And God has told us in His word, time after time, that we are to repent of our sins and return to Him, and He will bless us in a new way. But there's also hope for the future because of God's promises. As a Christian, I hope not for just this life, but for heaven and the life to come. And many of those people who died this past week are in heaven right now. And they wouldn't want to come back. It's so glorious and so wonderful. And that's the hope for all of us who put our faith in God. I pray that you will have this hope in your heart.
This event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. We never know when we too will be called into eternity. I doubt if even one those people who got on those planes, or walked into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon last Tuesday morning thought it would be the last day of their lives. It didn't occur to them. And that's why each of us needs to face our own spiritual need and commit ourselves to God and His will now.
Here in this majestic National Cathedral we see all around us symbols of the cross. For the Christian -- I'm speaking for the Christian now -- the cross tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering. For He took upon himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares "I love you. I know the heart aches, and the sorrows, and the pains that you feel, but I love you." The story does not end with the cross, for Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the cross to the empty tomb. It tells us that there is hope for eternal life, for Christ has conquered evil, and death, and hell. Yes, there's hope.
I've become an old man now. And I've preached all over the world. And the older I get, the more I cling to that hope that I started with many years ago, and proclaimed it in many languages to many parts of the world. Several years ago at the National Prayer Breakfast here in Washington, Ambassador Andrew Young, who had just gone through the tragic death of his wife, closed his talk with a quote from the old hymn, "How Firm A Foundation." We all watched in horror as planes crashed into the steel and glass of the World Trade Center. Those majestic towers, built on solid foundations, were examples of the prosperity and creativity of America. When damaged, those buildings eventually plummeted to the ground, imploding in upon themselves. Yet underneath the debris is a foundation that was not destroyed. Therein lies the truth of that old hymn that Andrew Young quoted: "How firm a foundation."
Yes, our nation has been attacked. Buildings destroyed. Lives lost. But now we have a choice: Whether to implode and disintegrate emotionally and spiritually as a people, and a nation, or, whether we choose to become stronger through all of the struggle to rebuild on a solid foundation. And I believe that we're in the process of starting to rebuild on that foundation. That foundation is our trust in God. That's what this service is all about. And in that faith we have the strength to endure something as difficult and horrendous as what we've experienced this week.
This has been a terrible week with many tears. But also it's been a week of great faith. Churches all across the country have called prayer meetings. And today is a day that they're celebrating not only in this country, but in many parts of the world. And the words of that familiar hymn that Andrew Young quoted, it says 'Fear not, I am with thee. Oh be not dismayed for I am thy God and will give thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand upon my righteous, omnipotent hand.'
My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around us and will know in our hearts that He will never forsake us as we trust in Him. We also know that God is going to give wisdom, and courage, and strength to the President, and those around him. And this is going to be a day that we will remember as a day of victory. May God bless you all.

Day 7 Prayer

The Wall of the Martyrs, pictures of the victims of 9-11

Faithful One, Father of Mercies, God of all Comfort, on this terrible anniversary, full of pain filled memories, ease our wounded hearts, and bind up the wounds of the nation yet again. Give us the comforting Presence of Your Spirit and help us to move forward into the future. Bless each one that today will be looking at the empty place in their lives, missing that precious one that lost their life on this day. Give them strength, give them hope. Bless us as we go forward from here, ever knowing that our times are ever in your hands, in the Name of Your Son we pray Amen.

Day 7 Credits

Mahattan syline at sunset

Photos, WBS LLc, stckxcng.com.

Are these your photos? Please contact me for credit
With Many thanks to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
The website americanrhetoric.com
Editoral Content the property of Wide Blue Seas LLc all rights reserved

Friday, September 10, 2004

Lux Aeterna Epilogue 2005 Introit

The Fallen Asleep- cemetary in Butler Ohio

Lux Aeterna Intriot

Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.
You are praised, God, in Zion,
and homage will be paid to You in Jerusalem.

Hear my prayer,
to You all flesh will come.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Day of wrath, day of anger
Will dissolve the world in ashes
As foretold by David and the Sibyl

Great trembling there will be
When The Judge descends from heaven
To examine all things closely.

From The Requiem in D minor by WA Mozart

These Honored Dead- a misty fall morning breaks upon section 13 of Arlington National Cemetary, Arlington, Virginia Courtesy US National Park Service Photo

Lux Aeterna Epilogue 2005 Hymn

dawn on the George Washington Bridge New York, copywrite Albert Valentino, all rights reserved

This world, my God, is held within Your hand,
Though we forget Your love and steadfast might.
And in the changing day uncertain stand,
Disturbed by morning, and afraid by night..

From youthful confidence to careful age,
Help us each one to be your loving friend,
Rewarded by faithful servant’s wage,
God, in Three Persons
Reigning without end.

Hamish Swanston 1971
From the New Cathlolic Hymnal by Permission

The White Rose- Mourner at Ground Zero AP Photo

Lux Aeterna Epilougue 2005 Scripture

In May 2001, Gregg Brown, while trying out a new camera lens, took two pictures of the lower Manhattan skyline, and then rewound the film so he could use the remainder of the roll later. On September 15, while taking aerial photographs of the destruction at Ground Zero for FEMA, he hastily grabbed whatever film he could find. When he developed the pictures from that day's shoot, he was astonished to find this double exposure. "The photograph is an incredible coincidence," Brown says. "I believe it's an act of fate."'

The vision of Obadiah.

Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom
We have heard a report from the Lord,
And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying,
"Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle":

"Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
You shall be greatly despised.
The pride of your heart has deceived you,
You who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
Whose habitation is high;
You who say in your heart, 'Who will bring me down to the ground?'
Though you ascend as high as the eagle,
And though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down," says the Lord.

"If thieves had come to you,
If robbers by night--
Oh, how you will be cut off!--
Would they not have stolen till they had enough?
If grape-gatherers had come to you,
Would they not have left some gleanings?

"Oh, how Esau shall be searched out!
How his hidden treasures shall be sought after!
All the men in your confederacy
Shall force you to the border;
The men at peace with you
Shall deceive you and prevail against you.
Those who eat your bread shall lay a *trap for you.
No one is aware of it.

"Will I not in that day," says the Lord,
"Even destroy the wise men from Edom,
And understanding from the mountains of Esau?
Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed,
To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau
May be cut off by slaughter.

"For violence against your brother Jacob,
Shame shall cover you,
And you shall be cut off forever.
In the day that you stood on the other side--
In the day that strangers carried captive his forces,
When foreigners entered his gates
And cast lots for Jerusalem--
Even you were as one of them.

"But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother
In the day of his captivity;
Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah
In the day of their destruction;
Nor should you have spoken proudly
In the day of distress.
You should not have entered the gate of My people
In the day of their calamity.
Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction
In the day of their calamity,
Nor laid hands on their substance
In the day of their calamity.
You should not have stood at the crossroads
To cut off those among them who escaped;
Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained
In the day of distress.

"For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near;
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.
For as you drank on My holy mountain,
So shall all the nations drink continually;
Yes, they shall drink, and swallow,
And they shall be as though they had never been.

"But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance,
And there shall be holiness;
The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
And the house of Joseph a flame;
But the house of Esau shall be stubble;
They shall kindle them and devour them,
And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,"
For the Lord has spoken.

The *South shall possess the mountains of Esau,
And the Lowland shall possess Philistia.
They shall possess the fields of Ephraim
And the fields of Samaria.
Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
And the captives of this host of the children of Israel
Shall possess the land of the Canaanites
As far as Zarephath.
The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
Shall possess the cities of the *South.
Then saviors* shall come to Mount Zion
To judge the mountains of Esau,
And the kingdom shall be the Lord's.

Obadiah 1:1-21

Psalm 16

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.

O my soul, you have said to the Lord,
"You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You."
As for the saints who are on the earth,
"They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."

Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16

The Gospel of Luke 17:20-37

Now,Jesus, having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." And He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. "They will say to you, 'Look there! Look here!' Do not go away, and do not run after them.

"For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. "But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

"It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

"It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

"On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. "Remember Lot's wife.

"Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses {his life} will preserve it. "I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. "There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. "Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left."

And answering they said to Him, "Where, Lord?" And He said to them, "Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered."

Luke 17:20-37

Lost Brother-mourning fallen comrades at Ground Zero AP Photo

Lux Aeterna epilogue 2005 Essay "The New Ordinary Day"

In the Shadow of Death - Workers peer out under a overhang at Ground Zero AP Photo

Essay- The New Ordinary Day

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the U.S. because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list."
It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed.
Ingrid Sanden's 1-year-old daughter was stopped in Phoenix before boarding a flight home to Washington at Thanksgiving.
"I completely understand the war on terrorism, and I completely understand people wanting to be safe when they fly," Sanden said. "But focusing the target a little bit is probably a better use of resources."

"I don't know about these people, but if they don't want to ajust to our ways, if they preach violence in their mosque,deport them all.

"We have ten million illegal aliens here. We need to close these borders, and deport every blessed one that we find. They are sucking our states dry."

"My Mother and I,we had a nice time at Ellis Island. Very moving. I saw my Poppy's name. Of course I kept thinking about 9/11 with the view of lower Manhattan no longer the same. Security was intense. We had to remove belts, watches, keys, our baseball caps, empty all our pockets, cell phones etc. There were hidden cameras everywhere. I didn't mind the inconvenience but I sure as hell resented why we had to do it in the first place."

"Yeah, I passed the TSA test, missed the physical, though, I have high blood pressure and didn't even know it.You get about five seconds to scan a bag...so many bags per hour... naturally something could be easily missed."

"Take off your shoes"
"Sur, dey rubbah slippahs, mah feet dey bare,"
"Take off your shoes, please"
"Dis floor,is filthy, you wan me walk in mah bare feet in dis?"
"Ma'am, your shoes, please or I have to detain you"
"Alright!, Im 80 years old, flying to Honolulu fo da kine medical tests, gotta be dare. You should show moh respect!"

"Hey Woody, I got a letter from a new pen pal in Lebanon, but its been opened, sealed in a USPS plastic pouch marked. Opened by Homeland Security."
"Hoku, you are in trouble now, next time we fly you"ll be on the "No Fly List""

typical screening at the airport, copyright held by Stock Photo all rights reserved.

The New Ordinary...an ordinary day in any major city in the U.S. includes a whole lot of things that would have never occurred to us four years ago. We stand in more lines, show our ID more, get searched, have our mail opened and our email screened.We are on more cameras more monitors and more "lists"... We go to the Airport with fear and trepidation..."am I on the "no fly" list..." We look at people that look different than we do and ask ourselves, "are they terrorists, going to hijack this airplane?" We are just not so sure that everyone is and everything is OK.

Its been four years, since that fateful day, when out of the bluest skies you have ever seen came the threat that you hadnt considered and the world, our world, your world and mine, was forever changed. We all sit and ponder even now at the evnts surrounding 9-11 and wonder..."will we ever get over this? " Will things ever be "normal" again. I think not... Not in my lifetime, and yet there have been some acts of closure recently.

They completed the last possible DNA check a few months ago and held the last funeral as of today.As our technology grows we may identify a few more of those precious bits of humanity that are still under lock and key waiting for the day.

441 medals were handed out to the families of fallen rescue personnel."The Fallen Hero's of 9/11 Congressional Medal" established by Congress and awarded by President Bush this past week, also signaled a sort of finality to this long grieving process

And grieving there is in abundance. The orphaned infants are ready for school now, younger children, older, sober faced, in the reality of lost parents. There is squablling over the Memorial, did it change again?... And why all of the political nonesense surrounding it? Why make it a peace museum? If nothing else 9-11 wasnot about peace, but about war declared in the scream of jet engines that rendered glass and steel into an inferno, and drove sane men and women to jump to their deaths thousands of feet above the black, blood soaked pavement of Manhattan

But there are still open wounds, and constant reminders of this event and its aftermath, its consequences. There are the "threat levels" color coded, ominous and misunderstood by most. There are the nightly news reports of terrorist acts. The horrors of the July Seven attacks in London, and the resulting coverage of that showed that even the most organized and experienced national police force with regards to terrorism can bungle, as well as succeed in dealing with attacks. Sadly we saw the curtailment of civil liberties, something that we are seeing here in the US as well.

This erosion of feelings of personal security have caused us to perhaps live differently. We look over our shoulders more, we look at people differently, we are less secure. We as a people are less tolerant , less sure and less free by law and custom than we were on September 10, 2001.The terrorists that used four airplanes and took the lives of thousands of people, took something precious from us, our innocence and trusting.

Fallen Heros-Remains being returned for burial. Courtesy of thememoryhole.com

We have doubts about government that we never had before. We believe that the government does everything it can to help us, protect us, guide us and propel us into the future, after 9-11, and over the last four years, I believe that we as a nation are more skeptical, we have less patience, and tolerance for things that look like a lack of governmental performance. The Michael Moore's of this world, The Cindy Sheehan's are quick to point the finger. The controversy seekers, the conspiracy mongers look for reasons to say that somehow the Bush Administration knew about the plot, or that somehow there was someone other than Osama ben Laden and his gang of 20 that was responsible. And as the death toll rises in the conflict in Iraq nearly 2000, there is more questioning regarding the conflict and the "War On Terror". This writer believes what she reads from Iraqis on the ground and they are grateful and its worth the cost to continue the struggle.

And yet we must understand that on that day, perhaps as no other, the hearts of Americans were cracked open, and propped open. And they are still open today.

This dichotomy, this love and loathing, fear and forgiving, desire to trust and believe in "the system", and hard core cynicism has had its greatest test since 9-11 this past two weeks in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What we have seen is a totally inadequate response to a known threat by government at all levels. There was time to prepare, buses to get people out, and agencies standing by to help and the government did so little that its nearly as though a cruel joke and a sad story is being played out night after night on nation wide TV. I thank God for what has been done. The first responders, the people on the ground, the medical people that stayed behind and of course our military have been magnificent. But I, we all have to wonder if the terrorists are laughing at the bumbling, sloppy and perhaps knowingly inadequate response to this disaster. I think this will be the event of the decade, and a deciding moment in our history. How we handle these "refugees", this southern Diaspora, will show the world how open our hearts really are. This is going to be the greatest forced migration of Americans since the Dust Bowl disaster of the 1920's and 30's, the task is enormous and before us is the question...This was a known natural disaster, what would happen in this country with a Federal Emergency Management Agency, that is nothing more than window dressing and a insurance agency. In the face of terrorist threats, bandits and thugs armed with nukes, and biological agents, I shudder to think of how things will turn out, if there isn't change from within the deepest levels of government.

The government needs to get a grip, and quit with the blame game and territorial crap, cut red tape and get organized. There will be another day of hell like what happened in this hurricane, and we need to be prepared.

Patriotic Feeling Autumn Bandstand in Belleville Ohio

The signs of trauma are gone, but we are forever changed. We all carry within us the memories and feelings of those moments we experienced on that September day, and to paraphrase the words of Peggy Noonan in her book, "A Cross, A Heart, and the Flag," who expressed the feelings that many of us shared. She comments that these are the things that America found. I too see this. America found her faith as though it was a lost dream, perhaps to the point that it has divided us politically as in no time in our history. She found her heart, a heart that was, as some believed had become, hard and cynical. That heart was broken, blood wrested from the stone, and the world saw how, "We The People" resolve to help each other regardless of the personal cost.And we found our flag. We found our patriotism and embraced it as perhaps we have not embraced it since World War Two. We are not ashamed to be called Americans. And as the world becomes more and more decidedly "anti American" that pride has a price tag that will grow and grow as time goes on. May we never forget the price that was paid by those gone before us, and may we be ready ourselves, to pay that ultimate price ourselves. For it has never been cheap to call ourselves "American", but the price is worth it to call The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave" our home.

May God Bless You and God Bless America!

Colors over the Silent Dead-Cemetary under a stormy sky in Nashville Ohio

<body leftmargin="0" rightmargin="0" topmargin="0">