Painful Memorial Day Reflections

My heart goes out today to all those who have lost loved ones in war. And my heart also goes out to all those who have come home alive, but have been deeply scarred by their experience of war.
Diana Butler Bass posted an important excerpt from her excellent book A People’s History of Christianity today. She quotes third-century theologian Cyprian …

“The world is going mad in mutual bloodshed. And murder, which is considered a crime when people commit it singly, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse.”

Her reflection hits me all the more because I’m reading (thanks to a recommendation by my friend down under Dave Andrews) a chilling, sobering book called On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.
As well, I’m thinking about the important work of the Truth Commission on Conscience in War… Whatever our opinions on just war and pacifism, may we all join St. Francis today, praying to be made instruments of God’s peace, doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God, so there will be fewer casualties to memorialize in the future.