An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
A Tear in the Soul
A Christian insight from J.K. Rowling: "Rowling posits 'unforgiveable curses' in the world of Harry Potter, but only one is unstoppable: the 'Avadra Kedavra,' not coincidentally the curse used on Harry that sets him on the path to being 'the boy who lived.' The 'Unforgiveable Curses,' like all the magic in Rowling's world, are an effort of will, but, as Bellatrix tells Harry, to use those curses 'you have to mean it!' The killing curse, however, extracts a greater price: the price of murder (other curses kill, to, but in self-defense, not as an act of homicide) is that it tears one's soul. Voldemort, of course, has done this so often he has almost no soul left to tear. Indeed, he uses this aspect of his favorite curse to create his near-immortality (which also creates the plot of the last two books of the series)." - Adventus
Every act we perform or fail to perform leaves its mark on our soul. As with Voldemort, the only cure for the ugly marks we leave is remorse, which is too compromised a word to describe the real pain of this process. Perhaps hell begins the instant we fail to embrace remorse.
"Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill" - Macbeth.
Now we must raise up our prayers against a deeper rip that would rend our national soul - the desperate insanity of war with Iran. It is entirely possible that this administration may attempt to recover the lost honor and esteem which it enjoyed a few short years ago by an act of monumental cowardice. Like Macbeth, they are
Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er:
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
Which must be acted ere they may be scann'd."
The Democrats cannot be depended on to do more than bark loud enough to hide the stacking of the billions they are ready to pile on the war machine. It is only in our prayers and what deeds of outrage we can muster that any hope lays of stopping this machine which now has taken on a mind of its own. A weak man grown desperate is often more dangerous than a strong man inured with arrogance. A weakened and isolated administration may risk wider war as a reckless way of evading the prosecution for what most of the world now recognizes as criminal policies comparable to those of the Nazis.
"When you cross over that line of darkness, it’s hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can’t go back to that dark a place without it changing you." - anonymous CIA officer.
"If we, the people, are ultimately condemned by a world court for our complicity and silence in these war crimes, we can always try to echo those Germans who claimed not to know what Hitler and his enforcers were doing. But in Nazi Germany, people had no way of insisting on finding out what happened to their disappeared neighbors."
We, on the other hands, still have what may be the last days of freedom. How will we use this precious gift?