September 23, 2011

Be Our Guest / Stephen Kappes

As we move forward from 9/11, let us be a people and a country of authentic faith

Is it time to wake up and smell the roses? How is it that before 9/11 our American life was so different?

The housing industry was booming, and corporate America had money for gainful employment with training and travel.

Yet, following that Tuesday morning, a handful of radicals caused such a knee-jerk reaction in not too few of our American citizens.

If 9/11 is to prove that good rises up out of everything—the bad and the good—then how do we recognize good out of this tragedy?

There was a time in our beloved nation’s history that we persecuted a religious group. Yet in 1875, when perpetrators went to burn that group’s church down, a men’s group of the same religious affiliation rose up in solidarity and subsidiarity, surrounded the church and locked arms together so that when the citizens tried to burn the church down they knew they could not murder these men to fulfill their purpose. They turned and left.

I turn your attention to the fourth plane 10 years ago on 9/11, where the good people who were hijacked took the plane back and crashed it to stop the madness. Their words, “Let’s roll,” are now immortalized.

As an American and veteran, I receive much pleasure seeing Old Glory flying in the wind. I love to render a holy salute, sing “The Star Spangled Banner” and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Yet, it saddens me to see how our lust for revenge has tarnished our “Americana,” and is doing more harm than the perpetrators of 9/11 could have ever done.

What is it going to take for our citizenry to say, “Enough is enough?” We have a global crisis. Yes, 9/11 played a major pivotal role—that is a given—yet I humbly submit for the record it is in how we forgive our Muslim neighbors that we will truly win over and repair the rupture made 10 years ago.

We must learn to forgive, forget and pardon a group that does not understand that violence is neither a solution nor a path to peace.

And should we care to be people of peace by loving our enemies, it is here that we will finally turn the tide, heal our wounds and return confidence to our American soul that is still shattered.

Maybe we do not see where to begin. Truly I say unto you, my fellow Americans, should we be children of God, we will see the day that great good shall rise from such a dark hour inflicted upon our soil. I have a holy hope that there are more of our citizens who feel as I do. Enough is enough.

Today then, let us remember the nearly 3,000 souls lost that tragic day, and let us pray as a nation for God’s mercy upon our enemies as well as ourselves.

This is the day to reflect on what it truly means that our deeds shall bear witness to who and what we are.

Yes, my beloved citizens, our deeds shall bear witness to our lack of faith or our authentic faith.

I, for one, care to trust authentic faith.

(Stephen Kappes is a member of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Beech Grove.)

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