Catholic Company / Magazine

Forgiveness in the Midst of Suffering

Sep 19, 2011 by

September 11th Memorial

My reflections from last week inspired by the Gospel readings, homilies, and September 11th, 2011.

Can anyone believe that it has been ten years since the 9/11 attacks? For me it still feels like only a short time ago. I am sure that you remember where you were on that day ten years very vividly, I know I do. 9/11 has without a doubt defined a generation and is one of the biggest tragedies which has faced the United States decades.

             We as a nation have learned many lessons from 9/11. We have amped up airport security and combated terrorism with a renewed tenacity. Church attendance boomed after the 9/11 attack as we learned that we rely on God throughout our lives and especially in times of suffering. I think that one of the most important lessons we can gather from the 9/11 experience is one in forgiveness.

             A lesson in forgiveness is not easy as many innocent people lost their lives and countless families will never be the same. I was fortunate enough to not lose a family member or friend in the 9/11 attacks and I couldn’t imagine losing someone close to me so suddenly. Forgiving a group of people whom robbed us our loved ones for completely selfish reasons is certainly not an easy task to accomplish. In fact forgiving is not usually easy no matter what the situation. But we must challenge ourselves to forgive those who have wronged us otherwise our resentment and discontent can tear us apart.

             Taking this lesson to heart requires prayer and determination. Forgiveness isn’t something one achieves over night but rather it takes dependence on God and a commitment to being charitable. The ability to forgive atrocities like those of the 9/11 attacks is challenging to say the least but nonetheless is something we should all strive for. One who needs help in forgiving anyone can always turn to Our Mother in the rosary and read Catholic books which focus on forgiveness.