Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Requiem aeternam . . . .

Eighteen years ago today was the day before the morning of. But we didn't know it. The only ones who knew were the Islamic fundamentalists who were making the final checks on their coordinated plan.
Eighteen years ago tonight we went to bed most likely in the usual fashion. Some drifted off into deep slumber while others tossed and turned with worry. The Church ended her day in the usual way with the chanting of the Salve Regina at the end of compline. How well did the killers sleep on what would be their last night alive? Were they feeling any anticipatory guilt? I hesitate to inquire about the content of their night prayers. 
Eighteen years ago tomorrow morning we went to work, or to school, or for a run on a day off. The daily tasks had to be done. Perhaps it was garbage day. Perhaps it was the first day on a new job. 
And then our lives changed. 
Eighteen years ago tomorrow night few of us slept. 
Today, eighteen years later, we continue to pray for the murdered:
Requiem aeternam 
dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. 
Eternal rest
grant unto them O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.

Side altar in the crypt church at Notre Dame de Fourvière in Lyon, France

Massed candles at Žale Cemetery in Ljubljana, Slovenia the day before All Souls Day 2016. 

+Fr. Jack, SJ, MD

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