Sunday, April 13, 2003

Getting ready for the war to end and the warriors to come home --- are we ready?

In a few weeks or a few months the war will be, for practical purposes, over. Our warriors will be coming home again.

Let us for now not think of who was fer and who was agin going to war. That doesn't matter now. Whether any war is good or bad, unjust or just, or even unaviodable, the fruits of war are evil, for the victors as much or even more than the conquered. Are we ready to serve our warriors as they come home? Most of them are not "career military," and in their real life would never ever solve a problem by violence --- and some of them will have had to do things with which they cannot live. Guilt and doubt and trials of conscience and faith, and nightmares...... we must not abandon our sisters and brothers when they come home, no matter what. We did just that when the warriors came back after tours of duty in Vietnam, and we must not again.

Those of us who are the ones people come to when they need listened-to [you know who you are] and our priests need to be preparing now in prayer, and in consciousness of the entire scope of passion and death and resurrection and of the primacy of hope. Also, in practicing not being shocked, or at least not echoing shock, for some of the things that happen in war are horror-making. Some people will need to speak of things they did that officially "didn't happen," like the soldier from Gulf War I who told his priest who is now a cardinal about his action in burying opponent soldiers alive.

We've at least a few weeks to prepare: we must pray and stay strong for what will come, and be ready to listen and to weep.

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