Thursday, August 06, 2009


Thanks to Scott Gunn for pointing me to this meditation by Bosco Peters on today -- the Feast of the Transfiguration AND the anniversary of our dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Here is an excerpt:

We read the story of the Transfiguration on this day with some ambivalence. Before the fifteenth century, a few Christian communities had been keeping the feast of the Transfiguration on August 6. But we would probably not be celebrating that date if it wasn't for a terrible battle. On the sixth of August 1456 news was announced in Rome that John Hunyady had overcome the Turks near Belgrade and the bells of many countries still ring at midday to commemorate the slaughter. Pope Callistus ordered the whole church to commemorate the victory by celebrating the feast of the Transfiguration.

But the ambivalence of August 6 is highlighted, because on this day in 1945, someone climbed not a holy mountain, but into the cockpit of a plane - a machine of war. There had been a lull of a week in the fighting between America and Japan. The Americans had a new secret weapon and they wanted to use it with the maximum psychological effect. They had prepared three atomic bombs. On the 16th of July, one had been tested in New Mexico. Now on August 6 one was dropped on Hiroshima, and three days later the last one wad dropped on Nagasaki. The bomb had more than 2,000 times the blast power of the British "Grand Slam" till then the largest bomb ever used in the history of warfare. 150,000 people lay dead. Other people later died from the effects of atomic radiation. 75,000 buildings were destroyed. Two cities were devastated. The world will never be the same.

Here we have a new voice booming from heaven. Here too was brightness, brilliant as burning magnesium. Here too is a cloud that has come and has covered us all with shadow. Truly, under the shadow of this new cloud, we are right to feel afraid. The shape of that cloud hangs now forever in our sky. Look at the shape of that cloud. It is the new tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We have eaten of its fruit and we shall never be the same again.

Read it all here. And if you are not familiar with his site, you are in for a treat.

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