18 years ago today, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists commandeered four commercial airplanes and attacked the United States with them. And our lives were forever altered.
Some 2,750 people were killed in New York City, 184 more were slaughtered at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and 40 brave people perished in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania while trying to retake the plane.
Add another 400 fire and police first responders who died when the twin towers in New York collapsed.
That’s 3,374 people — good people — whose lives were cut short.
Today, 9/11 remains the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in U.S. history.
As we remember and honor all those lost souls, I can’t help but reflect on how bad things sometimes happen to good people.
Just last month there were 20 shoppers at a WalMart in El Paso, Texas killed by a lone gunman.
Then several hours later in Dayton, Ohio 9 people were killed and 26 more were injured by a shooter.
Recent news has been filled with the catastrophic devastation in the Bahamas caused by hurricane Dorian. As of yesterday the official death toll rose to at least 50 and tens of thousands of people are homeless.
At the time of this post, there have been 357 homicides in Chicago, IL.
And then there are all the traffic accidents that result in good people being injured … and some killed.
More bad things happening to good people.
Illnesses, lost jobs, kidnappings. The list is endless.
Unfortunately bad things happening to good people is an inevitable part of life.
This week’s issue of Genuflect seeks to help us deal with bad things. We look at why bad things happen to good people, how to deal when bad things happen, how to help others deal with bad events, and some Saints who can help.
Today we pray for the repose of all the souls who died 18 years ago in the senseless terrorist attack. And we pray for their loved ones left behind … good people who will be dealing with a very bad thing for the rest of their lives.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
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If God really loves us, why does He allow us to suffer? Why does He permit terrorism, child abuse and natural disasters to occur? While the brutally honest and truthful answer is that “He’s God and He knows what He’s doing,” there are a few specific points that can help us to better understand these tragedies. And, quite frankly, understanding them can often make the difference between moving closer to the Lord or turning our backs on Him.
In the face of what seems absurd suffering of good people we must avoid all smug answers or nice theological answers. Instead, while we believe in guardian angels and God’s miraculous interventions we must also be able to answer the questions of those who suffer without any seeming reason. Here’s Fr. Dwight Longenecker answer.
The simple fact is, at some point in their life, sickness comes to every single person in this world, no matter whether they are a scandalous sinner or not. So at this point we might think, that’s the end of the story. We might conclude our sin has no impact on our sickness, pat ourselves on the back reassuringly and continue with our day. But if we did we would miss the crucial additional thing Jesus hints at here in his chilling warning, “unless you repent you will all likewise perish”
More people have abandoned their faith because of the problem of evil than for any other reason. It is certainly the greatest test of faith, the greatest temptation to unbelief. And it’s not just an intellectual objection. We feel it. We live it. There are four parts to the solution to the problem of evil.
Though not all of these things are absolutely unique to Catholics, they are useful ways that Catholics can experience grief and suffering.
Although we know that God is always there to listen and help us in our troubles, patron saints can also help us plead our case. This list contains five patron saints to call upon in times of trouble.
There are many bad things that happen in our lives that too often people attribute to fate or destiny. But the Bible actually has other things to say about the bad things that can happen to us and how God is always there to put us back on the right path.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the toughest challenges any of us will ever face. Father Eamon Tobin offers some suggestions that might be helpful during a grieving process.
Not every day is perfect. Let’s face the facts. Some days just are hard and we cannot wait for them to end. We can have a bad day. There can be many reasons for bad days. Work, home, family, friends, or just being a bit down can all contribute to a bad day. Here’s a checklist of how to shake off a bad day
Have you ever found yourself alone and suddenly faced with something you fear? Who can you call upon for help? Here are seven saints who can help protect us and our loved ones in various situations.
Msgr. John Delendick, a longtime New York Fire Department chaplain who is currently pastor of St. Jude Church in Brooklyn, remembers Sept. 11, 2001, vividly.
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