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

Sunday, July 10, 2005

No alternative to the stiff upper lip

Christopher Hitchens, an author with whom I often vehemently disagree, has got the latest terrorist outrage in London just right. Of the infernal arhabi, he says: "They demand the impossible - the cessation of all life in favour of prostration before a totalitarian vision. Plainly, we cannot surrender. There is no one with whom to negotiate, let alone capitulate."

Just so. Negotiation is no more possible than surrender. There's nothing for it but to bandage our wounds and carry on the struggle. We can be vanquished only if we cease to love ourselves and all the good we have wrought. The catastrophically low birthrate in the developed countries makes me suspect that's a real possibility. But we can love ourselves duly if we would only see that we are loved unconditionally: not because we deserve it—we don't and can't—but because He who created us only so as to communicate his infinite goodness also suffered our rejection so as to save us from ourselves. Our enemies neither know nor care about that. And that will be their undoing, whatever our fate may be.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, that we may not perish in the dreadful judgment.
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