In my faith, God appears before us all the time and yet we do not see God's presence. But sometimes it is so over-powering even we cannot look away. This often happens in moments of great suffering and pain, in my experience, as if the veil we place over our eyes to protect ourselves from God's overwhelming love is somehow lifted paradoxically by suffering. I have never felt closer to God than during some of the worst moments of my life.
In suffering the attack on New York, some people were filled with the euphoria of oneness, the elusive and almost orgasmic thrill of being utterly absorbed by the group, no longer alone in fear and pain. For one moment the fear was repelled by strength of numbers, the alienation and loneliness replaced with perfect acceptance and unity, and the sense of relentless exploitation by our consumer society replaced with a sense of righteous common purpose. Then the burden of daily reality came flooding back, leaving the people even more afraid than before. They yearned with every fiber of their being to regain that orgasmic euphoria, and so we began the bombing and invasions.
This yearning for transcendence, through god worship or war or sex or heaven-knows-what is irrational and deadly. If you want to feel good about yourself, stop telling yourself that you're a sinner in the hands of an angry god. Stop looking to others for acceptance and a sense of purpose and look within. Accept who you are, like who you are, and do good to feel good.