This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
– 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
Recently, I have been doing a good deal of research on Father Mychal Judge. Mychal was a Franciscan priest and served as the Chaplain of the New York City Fire Department from 1992-2001. He spent the last hours of his life, running to the World Trade Center, praying for those who were throwing themselves out of the burning towers, administering last rites to those who had fallen around him, and being killed by flying pieces of debris as the South Tower collapsed. Not long before his death, Mayor Giuliani saw Father Mychal outside the North Tower and asked him to come along with him and his crew as they ran from the buildings. Father Mychal told the mayor he had to stay with his men, to be with them.
Whether Father Mychal knew he was about to die or not, he certainly knew that the day ahead was not going to be a pleasant one. But instead of escaping the horror, he jumped right into the middle of it because he wanted to help. He wanted to do what God wanted him to do, not what the human being inside of him told him to do, which was mostly likely: RUN!!!
During my research of Father Mychal, I have discovered the prayer that is attributed to him. I share it here now, today, because I have decided to adopt it into my regular prayer and meditation routine. It is the person I want to be. It is a prayer for anyone who wants to lay down his life for his brothers and sisters…and for the God that he loves so dearly. Thank you, Mychal.
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.