- Also on Sept. 11, I received the following:
- "Criminals mock justice and lie about their activities,
- But retribution will catch up withthem; there is no escape."
Prov. 19:28-29. [This is a new translation by Rabbi Rami M.
Shapiro. The NIV's
rendering is somewhat different. Compare the NAB.]
- James 4:1 "Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do
they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at
war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you
commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so
you engage in disputes and conflicts." [To covet means "To
feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's)". It
violates the tenth commandment. [CCC
2535ff] Click here for bible passages that mention
For material on the commandments see that section in the catholic
- Is there anything in scripture that indicates the authority of
government includes punishing the guilty or protecting the
- Rom. 13:3-4 "For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but
to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what
is good, and you will receive its approval; for it is God's
servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be
afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is
the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. " NRSV
- Is there anything in the gospel that gives instruction to
soldiers, or other agents of government?
- Luke 3:14 "Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we
do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats
or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."
In this verse John the Baptist did not say you are wrong to be
soldiers, he said they should not exceed their authority; they
should not act wrongfully themselves. This is similar to what St.
Augustine said in City of God about soldiers who act on
their own, without proper authority. "But if he has been acting on
his own authority, and at his own impulse, he has in this case
incurred the crime of shedding human blood."
- Some worry that this could be the beginning of the end, but
remember what Jesus said: "But of that day and hour no one knows,
not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."
- "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that
you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not
24:6. (Search for war(s)
in NIV NT.)
12:21 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with
14:8 "If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die
to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are
- "Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident." Ps.
also, Psalm 144.
- Prov. 20:18 "[W]age war by following wise guidance."
Prov. 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but
those who keep the law struggle against them.
Prov. 28:13 No one who conceals transgressions will prosper,
but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Prov. 28:17 If someone is burdened with the blood of another...
let no one offer assistance.
Prov. 28:18 One who walks in integrity will be safe, but
whoever follows crooked ways will fall into the Pit.
Nevertheless, our ultimate goal must remain the
promised time of peace.
'He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many
peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and
their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Is.
2:4; Micah 4:2-4. NIV.
- For Victims
- Matt. 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will
- Matt. 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the
- Matt. 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they will be filled.
- Matt. 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive
- Matt. 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see
- Matt. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called
children of God.
- Matt. 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for
righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Matt. 5:11 Blessed are you when people revile you and
persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on
my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in
heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were
before you. " NRSV
[Matt. 5:11 could be especially relevant if some of the
terrorists act to harm people because the victims are Christian or
even merely not Muslim. This could be the meaning of the
terrorist's use of the word jihad:
"A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels" (That
is how the term is used in English, but see one Islamic
definition.) No one can say that all people of Islam think the
way the terrorists do about Jihad and the death of civilians. (See
Jihad in Islam where it says: "The religion of Islam should
not be confused by what these so called Muslims have done
[i.e. the Sept. 11th attacks]. They actually, by the
definition of the Quran, are not Muslims or at least as much
Muslims as the Ku Klux Klan are good Christians. We should not let
our emotions overcome our logic and understanding.") However,
Laden calls Bush the "world leader of unbelief", which means
and says: "I say that these events have divided the entire world
into two camps - a camp of faith in which there is no hypocrisy,
and a camp of unbelief, from which may God protect you. So every
Muslim must rise up and come to the aid of his religion." That is
jihad. Bin Laden puts the conflict in religious terms and thus
seeks to ignite a religious war.]
all of the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5, in the NIV at Bible
14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to
you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts
be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
16:33 "I have said this to you, that in me you may
have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good
cheer, I have overcome the world."
- It would seem valuable for all to pray
during this time.
the Initation of Christ, Book III, chapter
2327. "Because of the evils and injustices that all war brings
with it, we must do everything reasonably possible to avoid it.
The Church prays: 'From famine, pestilence, and war, O Lord,
deliver us.'" [CCC
Obviously one prayer we can use is the Lord's Prayer
6:9-15). The Lord's Prayer has been translated into 1207
languages and dialects. In its
discussion of the Lord's Prayer and the line which says "Deliver
us from evil" the Catholic Catechism says:
- 2853. "Victory over the 'prince of this world'[Jn
14:30 .] was won once for all at the Hour when Jesus
freely gave himself up to death to give us his life. This is the
judgment of this world, and the prince of this world is 'cast
12:31 ; Rev 12:10.] 'He pursued the woman'[Rev
12:13-16.] but had no hold on her: the new Eve, 'full of
grace' of the Holy Spirit, is preserved from sin and the
corruption of death (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption
of the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary, ever virgin). 'Then the
dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the
rest of her offspring.'[Rev
12:17.] Therefore the Spirit and the Church pray: 'Come,
22:17,20.] since his coming will deliver us from the Evil
- 2854. "When we ask to be delivered from the Evil One, we pray
as well to be freed from all evils, present, past, and future, of
which he is the author or instigator. In this final petition, the
Church brings before the Father all the distress of the world.
Along with deliverance from the evils that overwhelm humanity, she
implores the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance
in expectation of Christ's return By praying in this way, she
anticipates in humility of faith the gathering together of
everyone and everything in him who has 'the keys of Death and
Hades,' who 'is and who was and who is to come, the
1:8,18; cf. Rev
1:4; Eph 1:10 .]
- Deliver us, Lord, we beseech you, from every
evil and grant us peace in our day, so that aided by your mercy we
might be ever free from sin and protected from all anxiety, as we
await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus
Christ." [This last prayer is from the Roman Missal and
concludes the Lord's Prayer.]
this section on the Lord's Prayer in the CCC.]
- The Archbishop of Seattle has asked us all to pray during this
- "That we may avoid stereotyping any religious, ethnic or
cultural group, reject hateful words, and work with each other in
confronting terrorism and violence treat[ing] each person
as a child of God."
- "For the Church in the United States that we may be, for our
country, faithful witnesses to God's great love for all the
peoples of our world by disarming our own hearts and becoming
instruments of peace and reconciliation."
- For our President all world leaders "that their actions may be
guided by wisdom and restraint as they unite to eradicate the
evils of terrorism and promote peace rooted in justice for all
- For our church and religious leaders "that they may be
courageous in their ministry to effect reconciliation and peace as
they provide guidance and comfort in this time of
- Finally for the families of the innocent victims of terrorism
that they find healing in faith,...and through the loving care of
their neighbors, church communities and friends."
- "Give us aid against the foe; worthless is human help. We will
triumph with the help of God, who will trample down our foes. "
- 1 1 LORD, hear my prayer; in your
faithfulness listen to my pleading; answer me in your
- 2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant; before you no
living being can be just.
- 3 2 The enemy has pursued me; they
have crushed my life to the ground. They have left me in darkness
like those long dead.
- 4 My spirit is faint within me; my heart is dismayed.
- 5 I remember the days of old; I ponder all your deeds; the
works of your hands I recall.
- 6 I stretch out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a
- 7 Hasten to answer me, LORD; for my spirit fails me. Do not
hide your face from me, lest I become like those descending to the
- 8 At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust.
Show me the path I should walk, for to you I entrust my life.
- 9 Rescue me, LORD, from my foes, for in you I hope.
- 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your kind
spirit guide me on ground that is level.
- 11 For your name's sake, LORD, give me life; in your justice
lead me out of distress.
- 12 In your kindness put an end to my foes; destroy all who
attack me, for I am your servant.
1 [Psalm 143] One of the
Church's seven Penitential Psalms, this lament is a prayer to be
freed from death-dealing enemies. The psalmist addresses God,
aware that there is no equality between God and humans; salvation
is a gift (Psalm 143:1-2). Victimized by evil people (Psalm
143:3-4), the psalmist recites ("remembers") God's past actions on
behalf of the innocent (Psalm 143:5-6). The psalm continues with
fervent prayer (Psalm 143:7-9) and a strong desire for guidance
and protection (Psalm 143:10-12).
- 2 [Psalm 144] They have
crushed: literally, "he crushed"; the singular is used typically,
hence the plural translation.
- New American Bible Copyright © 1991,
1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington,
DC. All rights reserved.
- "John Paul II reflected on Psalm 56... The Psalm, in effect,
passes from dramatic lament to God to serene hope and joyous
"The Pope explained that the first part of the Psalm concerns
the "experience of fear at the assault of evil which attempts to
strike the just man. ... The presence of the Lord does not delay
in showing its efficacy, through punishment of the adversaries.
... Such faith in divine justice, always alive in the Psalter,
prevents discouragement and surrender to the power of evil. God
always takes the side of the faithful, overturning the designs of
the enemy, making them stumble on their own wicked plans."
"The second part of the Psalm, the Pope continued, is one of
thanks." [Compare Ps. 56 in the NIV
with the New
American Bible's version.]
[After this comment on the Psalm in] his greetings to
English-speaking pilgrims after the audience, in reference to the
September 11 terrorist attack on the United States, the Pope said:
"I invite you to pray in these days that Almighty God will guide
the mind and hearts of world leaders so that the ways of justice
and peace may prevail."
VATICAN CITY, SEP 19, 2001, Vatican
For our Enemies.
O ALMIGHTY, Everlasting God, Who, through Thine Only Son, our
blessed Lord, has commanded us to love our enemies, to do good to
them that hate us, and to pray for them that persecute us: We
earnestly beseech Thee that by Thy gracious visitation they may be
led to true repentance, and may have the same love, and be of one
accord, and of one mind and heart with us, and with Thy whole
Church; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
[The Lutheran Church in America
- Prayer in time of war or civil disturbance.
"God of power and mercy,
You destroy war and put down earthly pride. Banish violence
from our midst and wipe away our tears that we may all deserve to
be called your sons and daughters. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."
[From the Roman Missal.]
- Prayer of Pope John Paul II
- "May the Blessed Virgin bring comfort and hope to those who
suffer on account of the tragic attack of the terrorists, that...
seriously harmed the beloved American people. To all the children
of this great Nation I direct my heartbroken and heartfelt
consideration. May Mary welcome the dead, console the survivors,
support those families who are particularly tried, help all to
resist the temptation to hatred and violence, and to dedicate
themselves to the service of justice and peace. "
Romano - 19 September 2001)
for the Nation from the Luthern Church
- PRAYER FOR VICTIMS
"Holy Lord, almighty and eternal God, hear our prayers for your
servants, whom you have summoned out of this world. Forgive their
sins and failings and grant them a place of refreshment, light,
and peace. Let them pass unharmed through the gates of death to
dwell with the blessed in light, as you promised to Abraham and
his children for ever. Accept them into your safekeeping and on
the great day of judgment raise them up with all the saints to
inherit your eternal kingdom.
Lord our God, you are always faithful and quick to show mercy.
Our brothers and sisters were suddenly and violently taken from
us. Come swiftly to their aid, have mercy on them and comfort
their families and friends by the power and protection of the
Cross." [From EWTN.]
- Catholics should recall that Mary
Mother of Jesus is the patron saint of the United States. She also
has the title of Our Lady of Victory. In addition, she is listed
as the patron of Arabia under the title of Our Lady of Arabia.
[I would think it worthwhile to ask her prayers for all the
people of Arabia that they not suffer harm and not fall victim
themselves to the terrorist's violence and message of hate.]
Saint Index lists St.
Maurice as patron of armies, soldiers and infantrymen.
Michael the Archangel is listed as patron of soldiers too, as
well as airborn soldiers and police officers, along with St.
Sebastian. Because biological warfare is possible one might
ask the prayers of those invoked for relief from pestilence.
Barbara is patron of firefighters, gunners, and
In the event of additional terrorist attacks, Catholics should
also recall that a pleanery
indulgence is available to anyone at the time of death who is in
the state of grace and who would fulfill the usual conditions if they
lived. People facing death should repent of their sins and make an
of contrition. We all should examine
our consciences and receive the sacraments frequently, especially
anyone in danger. Finally, recall that the last sacrament is actually
Holy Communion as Viaticum.