Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

Mychal Judge and the Saints and Martyrs of 9/11 


Loving God, welcome into your arms the victims of violence and terrorism. Comfort their families and all who grieve for them. Help us in our fear and uncertainty and bless us with the knowledge that we are secure in your love. Strengthen all those who work for peace and may the peace that the world cannot give reign in our hearts. Amen.


For those who are suffering.
For those who are injured.
For families that are separated.

For firemen, police,
emergency medical workers
and all public officials.
For those who serve in the armed forces.
For those who answer the call
to comfort and give aid.
For those who provide support
through their prayers.

For those who are dying.
For those who died
while saving the lives of others.
For those who have died from acts of terrorism
or natural disasters around the world.
For all who lost their lives.

For those who survived.
For the children who have been orphaned.
For the men and women
who have lost their spouses.
For all who mourn and those who comfort them.

For peace in our city and in our world.
For unity among faiths.
For a greater appreciation
and love of all humanity.

For patience and perseverance.
For calm in the midst of fear.
For forgiveness and the grace
to overcome adversity.

For generosity of spirit.
For hope in times of despair.
For light in the darkness.

Gracious and Loving God,
you are our comforter and our hope.
Hear your people's prayers
as they come before you.
Strengthen us in this time of need.
Inspire us to acts of charity and generosity
and give us hope of a brighter future.
We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

( Joseph P. Shadle )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Mychal Judge and the saints and martyrs of 9/11

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Father Mychal Judge, together with all the saints and martyrs of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, the attack on the Pentagon and the passengers on United Airlines flight 93 who crashed their plane in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania rather than let terrorists use it to strike Washington, D.C.

Mychal Judge was a Franciscan priest, and chaplain to the New York Fire Department. In addition to his service to the NYFD, Judge was also well known for ministering to the homeless, the hungry, recovering alcoholics, people with AIDS, the sick, injured, and grieving, immigrants, gays and lesbians and those alienated by the Church and society.

Upon learning that the World Trade Centre had been hit by the first of two jetliners on the eleventh of September, Judge rushed to the site, administered the last rites to some bodies lying on the streets, and continued offering aid and prayers for the rescuers, the injured and the dead.

Father Judge was killed when the South Tower collapsed and he was struck in the head. He was designated as "Victim 0001" and recognised as the first official victim of the attacks, because his was the first body to be recovered and taken to the medical examiner.

The heroic and selfless actions of so many firefighters and other first responders have taken their toll over the years. Many died on that terrible day, of course, but for many others their lives were shortened and complicated by lung disease, cancer, and other slower acting forces. Some were simply innocents, others heroes. All of them rest in God’s hands now.

The world has become a darker place in the ensuing years. Terrorism has changed our perceptions of the world, war has proved to be a hollow response. As we struggle forward, it is good to remember Mychal Judge and the many others, who did not count the cost to themselves of the service they gave to others.

Scripture. In the second chapter of "Joel," at the third verse, we read:

"Fire devours in front of them, and behind them a flame burns. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, but after them a desolate wilderness."


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for an end to terrorism and the ungodly fanaticism that leads to it.

... for an end to the injustices and abuses that drive people to seek revenge and violent solutions to their suffering.

... for the victims of the storms currently afflicting parts of our planet and for those who are now working to bring aid and comfort to them.

... for the Muslim Rohingya people of Myanmar and for an end to their persecution by the state and the Buddhist majority; for the safety and welfare of those of them who are now refugees fleeing for their lives from their homes and homeland. DETAILS

... for Lee Ming-che and all Chinese human rights activists. DETAILS

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


From "Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002" by Salman Rushdie:

The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list (yes, even the short skirts and the dancing) are worth dying for?

The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.

How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorised. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.


Merciful God, you teach us in your holy word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve your children. As we remember all who died in the tragedy we call "9/11," remember us in mercy, strengthen us in patience, and comfort us with the memory of your goodness; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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