Monday, May 2, 2011

Death of an enemy

I'm not going to post any links to the news stories about the death of
Osama bin Laden or any conspiracy theories about what "really" happened.
We've all heard them by now.  Even amongst the conspiracy theorists,there is universal agreement that bin Laden is dead.

It's hard to know how to react.  I was 2 blocks away from Ground Zero on
9/11/2001, and continued to work there until 2005.  Friends and relatives of mine were killed, wounded, and worked on the pile.  It took almost 10 years (perhaps not that long, if some of the conspiracy theories are to be believed), but the man who claimed responsibility for orchestrating these attacks has been killed.  I pray this brings some small modicum of closure for the victims and their families.  When I watched the news in the wee hours this morning, part of me wanted to join in the spontaneous jubilation in front of the White House, in Times Square, and at Ground Zero.  

Another part of me was embarrassed and ashamed by what I saw.  

The parallels between the celebrations of Americans at the death of bin
Laden and that of many in the Arab world (and certain Arab-American communities) in the wake of the 9/11 attacks struck me hard. Celebrating the death of a person or a people you believe to be evil: How far removed are we as Americans from those who celebrated our darkest moment?

Loving our enemies is a tall, tall order from God.  It is one I am not prepared to carry out in this instance, at least not yet.  I pray that someday God will grant me the will to forgive.  I'm not there right now, and I know God understands.  He doesn't expect anything from me I'm not
capable of.  Maybe the idea that I write "not yet" instead of "never" is a small instance of progress and the movement of Grace within my heart.

I hope so.

Peace be upon us all.

Memorial of St. Athanasius
Daily Mass Readings
Acts 4:23-31
Psalm 2:1-9
John 3:1-8

1 comment:

  1. The death of bin Laden is an occasion for sadness. This whole episode is sad. That a man would consider and act as he did is sad. There is some measure of justice but no reason for gladness or joy. Men conspired and did act to bring violence against this man. It is as he wanted it and so it is just but it is sad. What of the men charged to do this? I feel bad for them. I can find no gladness in any of this except that he can no longer act to bring suffering against others.