Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Day of Transfigurations

Today we remember a Transfiguration in glory

icon of the Transfiguration

when Peter, James, and John saw Jesus as he truly was, glorious with uncreated Light, conversing with Moses and Elijah. Flabbergasted, the threesome said dumb things about pitching tents for them all and staying there always, but were told they all had to go back down the mountain, back to "real life" ---- though what was at the top of the mountain was more real than the "real life" down below.

And we also remember a transfiguration in horror

the Cathedral of Hiroshima after Transfiguration morning

when the first of two cities, chosen because they had minimal military significance (therefore had no previous bomb damage to complicate the before-and-after photos), was utterly destroyed by a single bomb, its people transformed in an instant from living embodied ones to etched shadows on the pavements, and others left to slowly die over weeks and months from radiation-related illnesses unknown before. Those two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were not chosen because they were the heart of Japanese Catholicism; that was accidental.

So, we celebrate this feast of our Lord, and remember our brothers and sisters who were doing the same in the Hiroshima Cathedral when they themselves were transformed in a single instant, to see the Lord for eternity as he truly is.

May the perpetual Light, which we celebrate especially on this day, shine upon them all.


Paul4peace said...

Dear Karen,

I really enjoyed reading your comments on the Feast of Transfiguration and the anniversary of Hiroshima. Your thoughts were beautiful and thought provoking.

I wrote something in a similar vein on my blog you might be interested in:



Mimi said...

I've also been kicking around the contrast between the Transfiguration of our Lord and the Hiroshima bombings.

I wasn't sure when the Catholic commemoration was, so I'm glad you referenced it!

Beautiful post, I hope you had a lovely Feast Day!

existentialist said...

Hi Karen, my name is Olympiada, nice to meet you. I came in off Mimi's blog. I enjoyed your post, especially the top part about the threesome wanting to build tents up there. Our priest gave a sermon about this last Sunday. Our parish had gone on a hike on a local mountain where you could see a view with out civlization, but we live where civilization is and that is where we have to deal. Thank you for this reminder.