The ever-returning God

God in the Midst of the City

Fr. Mychal JudgeTo this day, I can’t take my eyes off that photograph.  When I see it, I find myself mesmerized.  It shows the limp and lifeless body of a priest being carried over a mound of dust and rubble by five other men: a police officer, two firemen, an office worker, and an emergency responder.  The gritty looks on their faces match the grit that billows all around them.

I can’t take my eyes off that photograph.  You’ve likely seen it.  It was taken by a Reuters News photographer in the mid-morning of September 11, 2001.  The cleric is Fr. Mychal Judge, chaplain to the New York City Fire Department.  When the planes were flown into the World Trade Center, Fr. Judge rushed to the scene and began offering Last Rites to those he found near death along the sidewalks.  As the conflagration blazed above his head, Fr. Judge moved ever…

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