After finding Jesus in the temple, Mary is said to have pondered all things in her heart. How much we have to ponder in our hearts as we anticipate the twentieth anniversary of 9/11: the memories of the persons who died that day and of those who over the years have died of the wide-range of what have been called 9/11-related diseases as well as those who died in the armed conflicts that followed and, most recently those who died in the withdrawal from our long war in Afghanistan, particularly those troops and Afghan civilians killed in the airport suicide bombing, the ongoing threats and our responses.

Providing security for our nation and national interests, evacuating Americans and those who helped us will require vigilance, skill and wisdom from our leaders and welcoming neighborhoods to receive the newcomers. As we hold all of these matters in our hearts and prayers, let us ask our Lady of Perpetual Help to join our prayers.