Post-Sept. 11 Crisis as Seen from Cloistered Convent

«The Illusion of Being Omnipotent»

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MILAN, Italy, NOV. 21, 2001 ( How does a cloistered nun see the world crisis that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks?

«It is as if everything was happening to our own person; everything touches us profoundly,» said Sister Maria Elisabetta, a Discalced Carmelite in Legnano, near Milan. Her statements appeared today in the newspaper Avvenire.

«It commits us to live in a highly consistent way: in simplicity, silence and sacrifice, united to Christ,» the superior of this community explained.

«We learned about the Sept. 11 events, and what happened afterward, from the newspapers, but also from the many telephone calls we received from friends and acquaintances,» Sister Maria said. «Some have asked us, in fact, for a word of light.»

Following «the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, there are different ways of reacting to the disconcert — all are important: social, political and cultural commitment, and our own, a life commitment so that, thanks to the fraternal existence we are able to live in our Carmel, the Good News will spread again to men´s lives,» the Carmelite said.

«The current mentality gives us the illusion of being omnipotent,» she said. «Thus, we lose the relation with our reality as creatures, and destroy our very selves while destroying the other.»

«To those who ask: ´Where is God in all this? Why doesn´t God listen to us?´; we suggest another question,» Sister Maria said. «Where are we? Are we in God´s presence? We must not ignore God´s judgment.»

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