Tomorrow brings together the anniversary of the atrocity of Hiroshima and the Feast of the Transfiguration. Every year the collision seems both inescapably apt and awful beyond words. It demands we understand glory and bear its weight.
An eye-witness account by a Jesuit living in Hiroshima in 1945.
Tomorrow’s gospel reading:
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.
The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever the good that might result ? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question? – from the eyewitness account.
I hardly know what to say. My grandfather fought in WWII. My sister lived in Japan for 7 years, traveled all over, and never had the courage to visit Hiroshima. My spouse was Japanese. Isn’t every war like this, though on a lessor scale, and doesn’t the spiritual evil always exceed the good?
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