On September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania. and Washington D.C shocked the world. We will never forget exactly where we were when it occurred. I had an opportunity recently to view a documentary on the September 11th attacks and it triggered reflections on the value our lives hold in the eyes of God. In light of the many tragedies that have happened since that time, we can reflect on how God is with all of us even when horrific events and evil happen in our world that shake our faith.
This is a story about the importance of every human life and also the “pro-life” stance. Reflecting on the suffering and death of so many people that day, we are reminded how important every single human life is to the Lord.
“The Falling Man”
There was a segment in the documentary about a photo of a man forced to jump from one of the “twin towers” as it was burning to the ground after the planes hit. This photo became known nationally as “The Falling Man”. One newspaper in Pennsylvania had decided to publish the photo on September 12, and immediately readers began complaining this site was “too much to handle”. Never in the history of the newspaper had they ever gotten such negative reaction to a photo. The photo became an icon of the suffering of so many people on that day. Years later the photo is still remembered.
When suffering becomes visible, it is difficult for many to bear. Perhaps the photo of the man jumping from the burning building reminded people of their own mortality and the pain of that day in history. Suffering is a mystery to all of us. Many of us question the meaning of suffering. We can only turn to God for his guidance and love during difficult times of suffering. “The Falling Man” is an icon of suffering itself. He was a child of God deeply loved. Reflections on this one life will help us see the importance of all human life from conception until natural death.
“Life” and Mercy
Through this photo, the Holy Spirit reminded me in a deeper way about suffering. Perhaps those who were uncomfortable with the photo were disturbed by the reality of the man’s decision. It is difficult to watch someone suffer Pope Francis addressed how the Holy Spirit can help us to become more merciful to those in pain in a “General Address to Directors of Pontifical Missionary Works”.
We are called to open ourselves more and more to the action of the Holy Spirit, to offer our unreserved readiness to be instruments of God’s mercy, of his tenderness, of his love for every man and every woman and especially the poor, the outcast, and those who are distant. -May 17, 2013
As the Pope states, we are called to be “instruments of God’s mercy”. In our hearts, we know the value of even one life is tremendous to the world and to God. We need God’s help to be able to face those who need our help when they are helpless. It is truly the work of the Lord when we extend a hand to others. Many lives were saved that day because of the efforts of good people who sacrificed their lives for others. The reason our hearts were crushed on 9/11 is because we cared about the lives lost, those who sacrificed their lives to save others and all those affected by the tragedies. As sad as it was to see the destruction of buildings, our concern was for human life. Every life matters.
The Value of a Life
People were struck nationwide by the photo of “The Falling Man”. The image of a man jumping out of a burning building and his desperation at the time was a profoundly sad for many of us. When we are forced to look upon the effects of evil in our world, it is heart-wrenching. We then become faced with the realization that God is our true end, and life here is only temporary. We must use the time we have on earth to serve those in need and be the face of Christ to them. They are God’s children. The Holy Father made this statement on being alert to the things in the life that really matter:
“Today Christ is knocking at the door of your heart, of my heart. He calls you and me to rise, to be wide awake and alert, and to see the things in life that really matter. What is more, he is asking you and me to go out…knocking on the doors of other people’s hearts, inviting them to welcome him into their lives. -Meeting with Asian Youth, Korea, August 15, 2014
Life, love, and faith are the saving grace for the world in times of suffering. The value of one human life and one soul is more than we can comprehend with our minds. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can be enlightened on the value of life.
The Importance of Prayer for “Life”
Human lives and souls are the most important thing to consider when praying for our country. It is also a reminder to us on the importance of family, community, reaching out and sacrificing for others makes a difference to our world. Every human life is a gift straight from God and cannot be duplicated. Each soul is eternally loved by God. We ask for the Lord’s guidance in our lives and for God’s mercy and love to assist us. We lift our hearts and our prayers to the Lord for His love, guidance, and His mercy.