The scale of July's terrorist attacks in London is almost insignificant when compared to those in New York on 11 September 2001. However, that is little consolation to those affected in London, the victims, the bereaved, the critically injured, the maimed, those who will suffer from the traumas associated with these bombings for the rest of their lives. They will never be the same again.
Although it will be very hard, each of these people will in their own way eventually make something positive out of something negative, finding good that can result even from evil. They will search for the meaning of these events, perhaps for a very long time. They may be haunted by the question: Why me? Each, by the grace of God, can find an answer. Others will simply give thanks to God that they, miraculously, avoided harm. But even they may be haunted by the question: Why not me? Each, by the grace of God, can also find an answer.
But what of those who have not been affected directly? What of those who are simply citizens of the countries concerned? Spiritually, what can they learn from attacks on their nations?
They can learn the truth of the words of St John the Baptist. For the media, with their secular and sensationalist interests, overlook the essential message. They neglect the fact that it was on the Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist 2001 that the Twin Towers and a neighbouring Greek Orthodox church were destroyed by terrorist atrocities in New York. So today they do not know that it is on the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist that these terrorist outrages have taken place in London. To those not directly affected, the message and the meaning of both these events are the same: Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2).
May the people of London be delivered from their enemies through the prayers of their patrons, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
(The foregoing article by Father Andrew Philips is taken from the Orthodox England website. Check out this excellent site through out new parish website link under "AngloCeltic Resources" at www.asna.ca/angloceltic.)