Greetings in Christ our Savior.
God bless you.
We have just experienced a year of change in this country because of the
horrendous and atrocious act of the destruction of the World Trade Center
To say that this is not apocalypic is a mistake.
Who, having seen this catastrophic event, which has been recorded for
history, has not wept for all the innocent loss of life? Every story that we
hear is heart-wrenching. It evokes so many emotions in us.
One of these emotions, which I have experienced, is that finally now the
West, who think that they are so educated, have finally understood, at least
to some degree, the fanaticism of Islam.
Our Orthodox people for centuries had to live under the oppression of such a
bloody religion as Islam. There is no doubt that it is born from the mouth
of hell. Theoretically, it tries to give the appearance of being a peaceable
religion, but in reality, all its aims are devilish.
Saint John of Damascus wrote against this religion when it had just begun to
appear. His denunciation of it, (of course, I don't have to reiterate) was
so accurate and compelling: he showed that Islam is a mockery of God. And he
was speaking, not after centuries upon centuries where the Moslems had
opportunity to polish off their invented religion, but he was speaking only
a few years after its inception, when all of their foolishness was quite
This is what he wrote in his book "On Heresies 101":
"There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites, which to this day
prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the
antichrist...Down to the time Heracleos, they were very great idolaters.
From that time to the present, a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared
in their midst. This man...devised his own heresy...He gave out a certain
book that he said had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down in
this book some ridiculous compositions and he gave it to the people as an
object of veneration...This Mohammed wrote many ridiculous books, to each
one of them he set a title. For example, his book "On Woman", in which he
plainly makes legal provision for taking four wives, and if it be possible,
a thousand concubines -- as many as one can maintain, besides the four
"Then there is the book 'The Camel of God'. About this camel, he says that
there was a camel from God, and that she drank the whole river and could not
pass through two mountains, because there was not enough room..."
Saint John of Damascus says that there are other ridiculous things which are
written in their laws, which should not be repeated because they are so
Our fathers fought in World War II against the idolatrous Japanese, who
sacrificed themselves by flying into our naval ships in the Pacific. This
last year we experienced the same thing happening to us, through these
kamakazi Moslems. We have no sympathy for these deluded people, who went
against their nature and united with and did the will of the devil who had
possessed them. Our heart breaks though, for the innocent who were hurt by
them. The natural emotions of love and care and self sacrifice were
exhibited by the victims of this tragedy. These emotions are the exact
opposite of the emotions of those who wished to kill. The emotions of love
and self sacrifice are what St. Paul speaks of when he says that there is a
natural law in the heart of all of us. This natural law is godly. Whatever
is opposed to this is ungodly.
An example: When the first plane hit the first tower, there was a woman,
Josephine Harris, on the 73rd floor. She was 59 year old and a secretary.
She immediately decided to get out of the building and went to Stairway B,
and started down seventy three floors. Apparently she understood the
elevators were not working or were unsafe.
As she was going down, the second tower was hit and collapsed. She was at
the 20th floor and exhausted at that point. She stopped and couldn't go any
further, overwhelmed at the enormity of the disaster.
At that time, firemen and EMS workers had entered the building to save the
lives of the innocent victims who were caught. They were clearing out the
floors going up, one floor after another. When the second tower fell, seven
rescue workers, firemen, tried to radio their command center, which was at
the foot of the second tower. All of their comrades had just died with the
collapse of the second tower. They decided to leave immediately.
They went down Stairway B, starting from about the 40th floor. When they
came down to the 20th floor, they met Josephine Harris, crying and
exhausted. Taking her would slow them down, but they decided not to leave
her, and put her around their shoulders and continued down. When they got to
the 4th floor, the first tower began to collapse above them, and they could
hear the collapsing of every floor above them, as a consecutive, rhythmic
Then there was a complete silence. They understood that the building had
collapsed. After the dust settled, four hours later, they saw light through
a small crack at the sixth floor. They were in the stairwell, which was left
intact. If they had not taken Josephine, they would have been killed outside
of the tower, but now they were intact, within the only piece that remained
standing, Stairwell B.
For attempting to save that one last life, God saved their lives.
How many stories there are, which fill us with so many emotions. One
survivor ended her story by saying,
"As we try to reason why this all happened, we continue to try to live
normal lives, continue to cry and grieve those lost to this tragedy, and
continue to pray for peace. We can only leave it in God's hands and try to
sort out why something so evil could happen to our world.
I will never be the same!"
Let us pray that God have mercy on all the victims of this tragedy, that He
keep us and protect us from this type of evil, that we lead a peaceful life,
working out our salvation in the midst of an evil world.
One interesting note, the only hierarch from abroad that has sent
condolences because of the tragedy of 9-11 on our country was Metropolitan
Valentine. He did it only 12 hours after it happened. We have not heard any
other bishop from abroad do this. I have no doubts that as we wept when we
saw this tragedy, he wept also.