Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Today's feast is the Transfiguration - one of the best in my view: Jesus becoming radiant, as witnessed by three of his closest friends.

There is that uncanny echo of "radiance" in the word "radiation". It never fails to remind me that 6th August is the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. 120,000 people died, a whole city destroyed.

Fr. George Zabelka was a young Catholic priest, freshly enlisted into the chaplain corps of the U.S. Army Air Force. Being assigned to the 509th Composite Group, the unit responsible for planning and executing the Hiroshima raid, he blessed the members of the bombing crew before they took off.

Fr. Zabelka later made friends with Martin Luther King. He came through this friendship to see things from a different perspective: “Each one of us," he wrote, "becomes responsible for the crime of war by co-operating in its preparation and in its execution. This includes the military. This includes the making of weapons. And it includes paying for the weapons. There’s no question about that. We’ve got to realize we all become responsible. Silence, doing nothing, can be one of the greatest sins.”

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