|The Purgatorial Lesson
World Trade Center Attack
|It was a day none of us ever wanted to see.
It was a horror no one would ever want to go through.
It was a moment no one was prepared for.
It was, of course, the first day of infamy in the new millennium.
Terror had come home.
As you know, we are discussing the World Trade Center attack. It is important to us that all who read this article understand we are not into condemnation — but we are into realism.
The reality that we all will die one day. And, when we do, will we really be prepared to hear the Lord’s verdict regarding our lives?
Were the people in the World Trade Center that day prepared?
Did they really think what happened was going to happen?
Did they understand the night before that it was to be their last night on Earth?
The crucial part of this discussion is we all know that there but for the grace of God go we. But how deep do we want to understand this and explain it to our children? Children who grow up and can just as easily be innocent victims as the people murdered on September 11.
For, as we all know, once we leave this planet, there is no second chance.
No return visit.
No “let’s try this again” scenario.
This is it.
“... just as it is appointed unto men to die once and after this comes the judgment” Hebrews 9:27.
And that’s the point.
Are we ready?
On the day of the attack, there was a group of people who worked for an organization by the name of Cantor Fitzgerald. This highly successful company traded stocks, bonds and securities in a worldwide operation.
The firm dealt in $5 trillion worth of stocks, bonds and securities.
That is right, it is not a typo: $5 trillion.
We are sure that many of the people who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald received great pay, wonderful benefits and excellent bonuses. In fact, we would bet that this firm had one of the best 401K plans a company could offer.
Most of the people who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald are those who would be classified as “yuppies.” Successful hippies from the 1960s who, like us, understood later in life that there was more to it than just a party to go to. There were cars and homes and a family. There was the deadly reality of our own mortality.
Most of the people at Cantor Fitzgerald would also fall into the “middle-age” crowd. Their lives were far from over, and with the medical advances in science, who knows, they could possibly have lived to 100, perhaps anywhere from 50 to 70 years more for the majority of them.
The vast majority of Cantor Fitzgerald’s employees lost their young well-to-do lives on September 11th. Most of them probably died a horrifying death, either leaping from the top of the burning buildings or being trapped and dying inside.
While we are not their judge — only He is — we would venture to guess that most of Cantor Fitzgerald’s employees were not prepared for death that day.
Sure, they may have had life insurance policies and wills made out; but were they spiritually prepared?
Again, it is vital for those who are reading this to understand that we believe the Lord Jesus, in His Infinite Mercy, saved these poor souls from eternal damnation. But how many of them were eligible to go directly into Heaven?
How many of them, who probably spent long nights and weekends at their desks solidifying international deals, spent long nights and weekends on their knees in prayer? The attack occurred on Tuesday. How many of them, before they left work that morning, honored the Holy Face of Jesus as He requested? How many of them do you think wish they had and could take back that morning just once?
How many of them saw the infinite rewards of praying the Rosary as opposed to the immediate bonus of closing the next deal?
We are sure many of them — in their last moments — cried out to Jesus to save them and rescue them from this incredible dastardly and evil deed that was perpetuated on them. And we are positive He answered their cries.
But could He just let them into Heaven?
Did Jesus say, “Wow, that was a great deal you cut with the XYZ corporation. It will pay dividends for years to come in Eternity!”
Or did He have to count how many times they received the Eucharist in humble supplication? How many times they prayed the Rosary and/or Divine Mercy. How many times they asked Him and His Mother for graces.
Please understand, the reason we write these articles is not to condemn, but to sound the alarm. Do we want to be heroes like the firefighters who lost their lives for those in the Twin Towers? Heavenly heroes trying to save our brothers and sisters from the fires of Purgatory and eternal damnation.
For the love of Jesus — His Divine Mercy — cannot be reduced to the simple “sinner’s prayer.” It may be a good start, but there is much more to getting into Heaven than one prayer.
It is the reason why Jesus gave us the revelations of St. Faustina. Why He asked for the Divine Mercy Feast. Why He gave us the Eucharist. Why He gave us His Mother. Why He died on the Cross.
It was not so we could abuse Him and make money in this world. Our God hates money. Money will get no one into Heaven.
It was so we would worship Him and help Him save souls. This is how we get into Heaven.
And the first soul we better help Him save is our own.
For He will not force us to be saved.
We cannot escape the fact that our God is a Just God. He cannot say to two people who have lived different lives that they will both get the same eternal reward. He cannot tell the woman who has had an abortion that she will receive the same gift as the woman who said “no” to an abortion.
If two women are dying — one who has had an abortion and one who has not — and both call upon the Name of Jesus, both will be saved. But one will pay a price. One will go to Purgatory.
If someone has suffered incredibly on Earth and has offered their sufferings to the Lord, they will receive an abundant reward in Heaven. If one suffered greatly for a moment in time during the World Trade Center attack and did not give that suffering to the Lord, they will receive no reward. But their suffering on Earth will be taken into account as part of a reduced Purgatory sentence.
This has not been an easy article to write.
We do not like thinking about the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the worst terrorist attack and then comprehend that their suffering at that moment might just have been enough to keep them from eternal disaster.
But this is reality. His reality.
It is not the reality of the all the smiling faces of our Christian cousins who reject the Eucharist, His Mother and then sing the Name of Jesus believing all is okay.
The Lord knows that victims — both innocent and guilty — fall in evil times.
“… those eighteen whom the tower of Siloe fell and killed them; do you think that they were more guilty than all the other dwellers in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you will all perish in the same manner.” Luke 13:4-5.
The Lord has given us all a warning. A warning in the sneak attack against the World Trade Center. The world’s most powerful Air Force stood motionless against the air raid. The world’s most powerful beacon of capitalism collapsed.
The world’s most powerful nation took it on the chin.
No one could help the poor victims. We could only pray.
The victims — both innocent and guilty — were unaware when the attack came. How, we wonder, did they spend their last night on Earth?
Was it as so many of our fellow creatures do? Did they go to the local gym after work to make sure their body was in tiptop physical shape?
“For bodily training is of little profit, while godliness is profitable in all respects, since it has the promise of the present life as well as of that which is to come”
I Timothy 4:8.
It is so amazing to find in a book written almost two millennia ago a verse which speaks directly to a fad today that has so many of us worrying about our physical appearance as opposed to our inside appearance.
“ … you are like whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear just to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” Matthew 23:27-28.
It is a hard lesson for all of us. One we wish no one has to learn.
Have we learned this lesson? Look around and what do we continue to see? The bodybuilders are still in vogue; the market remains our major focus, and the televangelists still fleece His flock.
We have chosen to ignore His lesson — a warning He has given us.
We have stood atop the World Trade Center.
We know how horrifying it must have been to leap to one’s death from there.
Let us all be prepared for that moment when our souls leap from our bodies.
May we be prepared — and sound the alarm for all — that our souls can, if we do the right things, leap into the Hands of a Merciful Savior.
But if we choose to neglect Him and believe in “foolish fables” (I Timothy 4:7), that we only need say the “sinner’s prayer,” we will find our souls leaping into the Hands of a Just God.
© 2003 Agnus Dei Presents!
|Coming soon: why the Lord lifted His Hand of Protection from
the United States and why Great Britain is in grave danger as well.