Last week was the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I vividly remember being home that morning. I had a job interview scheduled in the afternoon. It was my son’s fourth birthday. My daughter was five months old. I watched the news all day and all night. I spoke with some friends on the phone. I felt helpless. I prayed for my friends who worked in the city.
From the rubble and death of that day emerged a hero for me. Someone I didn’t know before and wished I had met: Father Mychal Judge. He was a Franciscan Friar and Chaplain for the FDNY. He was killed in the North Tower while praying for an end to the evil taking place around him.
How many of us today feel surrounded by evil events or things we cannot control? Covid-19 has hurt us in many ways: physically, emotionally and spiritually. We have gotten sick. We have lost loved ones. Having society shut down for months has contributed to the racial tensions in our country. Many children have been affected. Like that horrible day 19 years ago, I feel helpless and I pray.
Prayer seems like a useless thing to do because it’s the opposite of “activity.” To the casual observer, it appears that the person engaged in prayer isn’t doing anything. The heroic first responders who answered the call that day were doing something. But so was Father Mychal. Prayer changes things and it changes people. Father Mychal believed that and so do I.
In this pandemic, in this time of unrest, in this time of a country divided, I continue to pray. I pray for myself, my family and friends, my church and I pray for you. And if you don’t pray or even don’t believe in prayer, that’s OK. Just know that I’m praying for you. And if we cross paths, stop me and say hello. Or email me. Let me know how you’re doing.
I have one of Father Mychal’s prayer cards on the podium at my church. I pray his prayer often.
Lord, take me where You want me to go
Let me meet who You want me to meet
Tell me what You want me to say
And keep me out of Your way
If we do bump into each other, I’m sure it won’t be a coincidence!
Pastor Anthony +
Anthony Giordano is the Pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in East Meadow and President of the East Meadow Clergy Association. He has four amazing children and two cats. If you have a question you'd like to ask Pastor Anthony, you could e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.