Uniting in Prayer

Prayer and worship have been a crucial part of America's response to the terrible events of Sept. 11. The latest remarkable manifestation of the need to turn, together, to God for comfort was Sunday's commemorative service in New York's Yankee Stadium.

The crowd may not have been quite as large as expected, but the 20,000 or so who attended - including many who had lost family members, friends, and colleagues - found inspiration, and strength in unity. As with other similar occasions, such as the service at the National Cathedral in Washington, speakers represented diverse faiths - Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, and Hindu.

There was, of course, a strong theme of patriotism, of drawing together as Americans to meet a national crisis. That theme, unquestionably, is positive. But it's made even more powerful as it's tempered and strengthened by faith - the heartfelt turning to a higher source of wisdom and strength.

Even - perhaps especially - in light of acts of unthinkable cruelty and terror, it's essential to remember that God is loving and merciful. His influence, felt in countless human hearts, can generate action that moves beyond revenge to justice, and, ultimately, healing and wholeness.

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