September 11, 2018
Today is Patriot Day and will mark the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC. The following is a portion of a reflection written by Fr. Joseph Bayne, OFM Conv., who was a chaplain for Erie County Emergency Services in New York:
This experience changed me in some ways. I’m still a sinner, still a bit of a workaholic, still at times trying to “save the world, with my messiah complex.” But this tragedy and the humbling opportunity to minister at Ground Zero made me reflect lots on the gift of life, relationships, on making every day good in some way and using the opportunities and gifts God pours upon us. It made me be more conscious of trying “not to sweat the small stuff” as my father had taught me. Life is so precious and yet so fragile. A hug, a smile, an embrace, a kind word, a strong or gentle handshake – all took on new meaning for me.
In the days following the tragedy, some said they saw the face of the devil in the smoke at Ground Zero. Many asked me about the same, and my answer hasn’t changed in 10 years. No, I did not see the devil’s face at Ground Zero. I saw the face of God in the people working, caring, sweating, crying, rescuing, recovering and being very spiritual in their very humanness. I was moved and changed and felt God’s hand in the goodness that followed such tragedy. My ministry embodied the prayer of Saint Francis, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
To read the entire reflection, go to: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/september-11/911-10th-anniversary-bayne-buffalo.cfm