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cred- Ed Betz AP

cred- Ed Betz AP

“I wonder what my last hour will be. Will it be trying to help someone, trying to save a life?” — Father Mychal Judge

Mychal Judge died as he lived, serving others. He answered the bell on September 11, 2001, and joined his flock at the World Trade Center. He’s recorded as the first fatality at the site. Firefighter lore says that Father Mychal died first so he could greet his lads and lasses on the other side.

9/11 is the day that set me back on the path to the Catholic Church. Something about seeing Father Mychal, carried out of the rubble jarred something deep in my heart. It started me on a path that I continue on today. I struggle to reconcile faith with the institutional Church. It’s a journey and one I undertake gladly, even when it frustrates me. Father Mychal is one of the spirits who guides me. One of his favorite prayers graces my wrist.

“Lord, take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet, tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way.”

Words to live by. Today I give thanks for those who run towards danger and not away. I give thanks to those who reach out to others in pain. I give thanks for the good people in the world.

Never forget.