Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Drums of War

Russian soldiers enter Crimea to "protect Russian nationals." President Putin receives authorization from Russian Parliament to use military force in Ukraine.

"On March 1, 2014 the Russian military invaded Ukraine, and the war began...."
This is a sentence that I hope and pray will NOT be written in history books of the future. At this moment, it is still possible to hope....

We cannot imagine what the strange unfolding of the 21st century will bring. The human race has scarcely begun to come to grips with the implications of the unprecedented material power we hold in our hands.

We really have no idea what might happen in a major regional or global war. We are more ignorant than the enthusiastic young men of Europe in 1914, who rushed into battle with their shiny bayonets and were met by machine gun fire.

Peace depends on the grace of God, and a new kind of heroism: a heroic restraint, understanding, communication, savvy, civility, courage, and wisdom.

We must pray for the Lord to raise up heroes, and we must try -- within whatever seemingly insignificant circumstances we may find ourselves, and with trust in God -- to be heroes.

2 comments:

  1. I agree that we need heroes: people who know what is right, what is wrong, how to tell the difference, and how to tell others. As you said, "heroic restraint, understanding, communication, savvy, civility, courage, and wisdom." Prayer will help. My opinion.

    Although I agree that we cannot imagine in detail what will happen in the next 86 years: I have trouble imagining that I am the only 'child of the '60s' who doesn't remember the worst-case scenarios my generation grew up with. For many folks my age and younger, unchecked optimism does not seem to be a defining characteristic.

    I hope, and suspect, that I am not the only person of my generation to remember effects of the 20th century's global war. We're calling it WWI and WWII, but I see it as two phases of the same conflict, and I'm wandering off-topic.

    I also hope, and suspect, that some of us learned the right lessons.

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    1. I hope so too. I grew up in the Cold War, and I remember well that dark historical moment of Yuri Andropov, and the assassin's bullet that inexplicably FAILED to kill. A greater hand than any of ours is guiding history. But the way forward is hard and a bit scary still. We have lost our Enlightenment optimism (though it still has echoes in many places) but what do we have instead? Ideology has been replaced by recklessness and sloth (the frantic "busy" kind of sloth that evades the higher good by "everything-else-BUT" -- and material power increases, not in the service of world dominating ideology, but just for our appetites. Our society today can be ruthless, as long as we can hide it from ourselves (e.g. abortion or the de factor slave labor that we ignore because it's done in other countries, in secret). I don't know how it will unfold. We do need to pray. I trust in that greater hand that guides us, but the bullet may still be crazy and it certainly will hurt. Totus tuus Maria. Our merciful mother. We are her children, and thus the little brothers of Jesus. That's our hope.

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What are your thoughts?