Posted by: fvbcdm | September 11, 2014

Feast of Saint Ambrose Barlow (11 September 2014)

Today is the infamous 9/11 anniversary of the day when terrorists attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and part of the Pentagon building in suburban Washington. And if those violent memories weren’t enough, we are aware of Hurricane Ike in the Gulf of Mexico just south of us and praying that it will not wreak death, injury, or damage in our midst. Terrorism is man-made violence; hurricanes are a form of meteorological violence. And violence is always the opposite of peace. Saint Augustine many centuries ago defined peace as “the tranquillity of order.” It is one of the most beautiful concepts and valuable realities that we human beings know. Among the Jewish people, it is customary to wish people “Peace” when one meets the other. “Shalom” is the Hebrew word for peace. Our Divine Lord used it many times during his lifetime, but always as a true blessing and not simply as a customary greeting.

People in parts of the Catholic German-speaking world like Bavaria and Austria say “Gruss Gott—Praise God” when they meet. Many Spanish-speaking people take their leave of one another by saying, “Vaya con Dios—Go with God.”  The French say “A Dieu —to God.” And we say “Goodbye,” coming from the old English, “God be with you.”  But these expressions are rarely reflected upon or meant as true blessings. When Our Lord appeared to his assembled apostles on the night of his resurrection, he said, “Shalom!—Peace!” And he really meant it, since he had won the peace of redemption for them by his death on the cross and his triumphant return to new life.

On this anniversary of 9/11 and as we hope and pray for deliverance from bad weather, I offer you the peace of Christ—peace of soul, of mind, of emotions, of politics, from terrorism, from dangerously bad weather, from anything that will rob us of the tranquillity of order which is so important for human life at its best. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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