"Although I have lived through much darkness..."
What does September 11 mean to me? Reflections on First Anniversary of Sep 11th
REFLECTION. A year after the tragedy of September 11, Don Blan, commercial pilot, who since more than 10 years carries the Pilgrim Mother in the cockpit on all his flights, shares a personal reflection about the impact of this event.
In Divine Providence I was called to be in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the 11th of September. The flight began on the 10th, the Anniversary of the Campaign and landed on the morning of the 11th. I noted that 5 members of the crew from last year were here too. Some of them asked for the same rooms they had last year. It is interesting how people form attachments to other persons and places. The crews from that day last year still keep a special bond of the Sept 11th experience. I had much joy in flying here on the 10th. To come to the land of Joao Pozzobon on the anniversary of the Campaign is very significant to me. Most of my thoughts were on the 10th not the 11th. Not to lessen the impact of the 11th of September, but a thanksgiving for the graces of the 10th. Here, in Brazil, I was listening to the conversations of Sep 11th , but living inside the beginning of the Campaign.
Most of the focus of the Schoenstatt Movement was on the 11th also. I read and listened to the words of the Crownings on Sept. 11th. I see them as a crowning of our fears and helplessness. For me both experiences of Sept 10th and 11th in Brazil have left an impression that show the dates as one story. An event of supernatural grace in the natural world like the 10th is followed by a natural event linked to it, but to destroy. Let me go into detail.
The link between September 10 and September 11
This link between Sept 10 and the 11th of 2001 is that the Mother Thrice Admirable uses American Airlines to travel to other countries. And on the 11th of September, 2001 the planes were used to kill people and destroy buildings, planes, and possibly the airlines. This is a personal link of the two dates last year that continues in my thoughts.
Second, the link of the 10th and the 11th in 2002 is for me the date that takes primary focus and celebration, the 11th. It is difficult to focus on celebrating loss and fear. They have a downward trend of life. When I see tragic events I listen for the whisper of Divine Providence. God permits this and He is omnipotent. Can I hear the tragic event within the story of Divine Providence? It is always a story of the Covenant. This is why I see the 10th much more in the foreground with the 11th as event that highlights the grace of the 10th through contrast. The words of Pope John Paul II in Toronto 2002, touch the core of what I see.
"Although I have lived through much darkness...I have seen enough evidence to be unshakably convinced that no difficulty, no fear is so great that it can completely suffocate the hope that springs eternal in the hearts of the young... Do not let that hope die! Stake your lives on it! We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son."
May we all find such hope in our hearts today." Pope John Paul II
"We can not find complete security in the things we make..."
Divine Providence whispers the same story of the Covenant throughout time. After the birth of our Lord as a child, we see a tragedy to other children, the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents. The first is celebrated on the December 25th the second on the 28th. And we celebrate the life our Lord and the Grace of the Incarnation, not the tragedy that followed. This is the how I have reflected on the 11th of September.
I have been asked many times these types of questions: how can I continue to fly? Do I believe the security is foolproof? What does September 11th mean to you? I find the words in Pope John Paul II as an answer. "We are not the sum of our weakness or failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son…".
I answered this twice to the questions stated above: " We can not find complete security in the things we make, only in God." Each time the response was silence and a loss of questions. In the Campaign when the 10th becomes a greater focus than the 11th , there will be a marked moving from the focus on tragedy to the focus on grace.
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