A Reflection for Memorial Day
I write this blog with some feelings of timidity, some fears that it will be ill-received, and with some hesitation.
When I started thinking about Memorial Day, I tried thinking of it as a national holiday, which it is. I was also taunted by the idea that remembering those who have died in war has become a global need – not only a national one.
So many parents, wives, husbands and children mourn and remember loved ones who have died in wars far from home or very near home.
Some of these wars are centuries old – waged in the name of age-old political, economic and/or religious differences. No matter what the causes of today’s conflicts, current wars seem marked by a greater intensity of hate, cruelty, and total (I’d go so far as to say evil) intolerance of differences of any kind.
Bottom line here? I want to suggest that we celebrate Memorial Day not only as a national holiday but as an international holiday as well. I am not suggesting we start a movement or demean in any way the origins and intent of the United States’ celebration.
I am simply suggesting that, as we remember those deceased women and men who died while serving in our military, we also remember all the deceased women and men who died while serving in the militaries of their nations.
What assuages my fear and hesitation is the desire of the Godhead “that all will be one” – in spite of the fact that we witness daily scenes of destruction and hatred via all kinds of electronic media.
What gives me courage is daily praying the Sisters of Providence “Litany of Non-Violence,” written by several of our sisters years ago. Of late, two verses in particular have grabbed my heart:
Deliver me from the violence of superiority and disdain.
Grant me the desire and humility to listen
with special care to those whose experiences
and attitudes are different from my own.
God of love, mercy and justice,
acknowledging my complicity in those attitudes,
actions and words which perpetuate violence,
I beg the grace of a non-violent heart. Amen.