Monday, August 8, 2016

Terrible Memory


During these early August days, we mark the 71st anniversary of the first and only use of nuclear weapons for warfare.  The two bombings -- Hiroshima (Aug, 6th) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9th) -- killed at least 129,000 people in 1945.  I learned only recently that Nagasaki was home to the largest Catholic population in Japan; St. Mary's Urakami Cathedral was used by the bombing crew as its target.  How is it that national identity can “over-rule” our shared identity as followers of Jesus?  Too often, we make national differences more important than being children of the same God and members of the same human family.  How can we nurture a world view that treasures what we have in common as human beings and that celebrates our rich diversity?  Did you watch any of the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio? The gathering in one place of nearly 11,200 athletes from 206 countries gave me some hope for our world.  How will we help shape a world for future generations in which weapons of mass destruction are only a terrible memory? 

Toni Harris, OP
Madison, WI

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