[May 11, 2002 - The following essay written shortly after I returned to the Church. This is what got me STARTED towards "home" - but it is not what makes me STAY there. To find out why I stay, click HERE!]

The great agnostic of the 19th century, Robert Ingersoll, was fond of saying, "The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray."

Well, on September 11, 2001, we all found out - whether we wanted to or not - that the "hands that helped" belonged to the same bodies as the "lips that prayed". I am, of course, speaking about the firemen.

Three hundred and fifty brave men, an overwhelming number of them Catholic, marched into those burning towers, stopping only to PRAY - to make their last confessions to, and receive a final blessing from, a priest (such as Father Mychal Judge, listed as the first official casualty of the attacks). Then went on to give their lives for people they didn't even know.

The lips that prayed, then, belonged to the bodies of the men who died - but not before using their hands to help rescue tens of thousands of people from a fiery death.

And let's not forget Todd Beamer, passenger on U.S. Air Flight 93 - one of the heroic passengers who thwarted the hijackers' evil plans at the expense of their own lives. Todd, a Christian, prayed the "Our Father" with a telephone operator - then said the now-famous, "Let's roll."

Hands that help = lips that pray.

After that - it was just a matter of time before Atheist Gal became Theist Gal. And I write this little piece not to condemn those who don't agree with me, but just to let them know what it was that started me back on the road to the Church.