Transforming enmity

9/11: Ten years later

Read more reflections on the 9/11 anniversary.

Inescapably, September 11, 2001, brought up a question brewing under the surface of my faith and profession: How do we transform enmities? The faith I embrace and the nonviolent transformation I am professionally committed to seeking both arise from the life and teachings of Jesus, who measures love in terms of how we respond to those who wish us harm.

The brutal events of 9/11 brought life and work to a standstill. Wherever we were, we stopped and watched, staggered. I felt a mix of deep sadness and anger beyond words. To paraphrase W. B. Yeats, the center broke. The central tenets of my faith and vocation seemed uprooted, naked and irrelevant to the rising impulse toward seeking an adequate response.


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