"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I hate to admit it, but there's something of the normal American in me. The admission is due because I first started caring about the Feast of the Transfiguration, which is today, when I learned that the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima also occurred on the 6th of August (1945).

The flash of that bomb was the closest thing to the Uncreated Light that man had ever produced. Not surprisingly, it was for destructive purposes: killing scores of thousands of innocent people with the aim of terrorizing Japan into unconditional surrender. Whatever Americans may have thought of that then and now, the Catholic Church cannot but condemn the mass targeting of civilians in warfare—regardless of the weapon used. And Vatican II did so (Gaudium et spes §80). Yet the ghoulish juxtaposition of such evil with the good celebrated in today's feast provide much to ponder in wonder.

My own meditation is that the real power at the heart of reality is God's to bestow according to his gracious will, not man's to grasp at for his limited, selfish purposes. The creative force of the universe is also the transforming light of love. But as we delve ever deeper into the mysteries of the physical cosmos, we become capable of once-inconceivable violence. The potential for that is now so great that we can readily imagine the human race annihilating itself by unleashing it. So of course more and more nations yearn to acquire nuclear weapons, whose only rational use is to deter others from using them. But even though we have thousands of deliverable warheads affording "multi-layered redundancy," we will not reduce our force by a single one.

Such is one of Satan's ways of mocking the Transfiguration, the prototype of that deification to which we are all called. Let us live in the light so as to reduce such mockery to silence.
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