Commit yourself to ending war this Memorial Day
As the United States approaches its annual day to remember the more than 1 million American combatants who have died in the country's many wars, it is most appropriate to ask ourselves, "What would be the wisest and most loving way to celebrate Memorial Day?"
"What would be the wisest and most loving way to celebrate Memorial Day?"
Instead of making it a day of intense nationalism which accepts ongoing war as "normal," the healthiest, holiest way to honor combatants killed, is to stop sending new combatants to take their place - to kill and be killed - again and again.
Since 9/11 approximately 7,000 U.S. troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan; with well over 50,000 wounded - many seriously. And about 7,000 U.S. military contractors have also been killed.
And let us not dare forget the number of innocent civilians killed in these conflicts - conservatively well over 1 million deaths.
And there is no end in sight.
Approximately 200,000 U.S. troops are currently stationed in most countries around the world; with about 26,000 of them in the war-torn countries of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
And at least 25,000 troops are deployed in conflicts in Somalia, Niger, Yemen, Libya and the Philippines.
And that's not all.
There are approximately 70,000 U.S. Special Operation forces - including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets - operating in 149 countries. That's a deployment of combat personnel to more countries than any nation has ever sent military personnel to. Ever!.
So much of the world is at war, or making weapons of war, or buying weapons of war, or preparing for war, or all of the above.
Hellishly, the war machine keeps rolling along grinding up countless human beings. And for what? Well, for two things for sure: the age-old sins of love of power and money.
Flexing their muscles, nations spend an astronomical $1.7 trillion annually on their militaries, while in comparison very little is spent on ending global ills like hunger, poverty and homeless.
The U.S. is the largest exporter of weapons of war, followed by Russia, France, Germany, China and the U.K.
Of the six companies worldwide that profit the most from weapons sales, one is British (BAE Systems), and five are American - General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, with Lockheed Martin being the world's largest arms dealer selling over $40 billion worth of weapons in 2016.
Through the words of the prophet Isaiah, God is urging us to beat our swords into plowshares, to train for war no more, and instead, to "walk in the light of the Lord!"
And that's exactly what two Catholic priests and five lay Catholic peace activists recently did.
On the night of 50th sad anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination (April 4), in courageous nonviolent protest, they entered Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base located near St. Mary's, Georgia bringing hammers to symbolically beat nuclear swords into plowshares. And they spilled blood to symbolize the unimaginable capacity nuclear-armed Trident submarine missiles have to kill.
Like many prophets before them, they are now in jail.
May we who are baptized into the prophetic nonviolent life and ministry of Christ Jesus, unceasingly pray for an end to all war and war preparation. And may we too like the prophet Isaiah, and these seven modern-day prophets, courageously strive to transform our nation's swords into instruments of peace.
[Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry. That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
Every Monday morning for the past 30 years, members of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker community in Washington, D.C. have been making their ... continue reading
Deacon Keith Fournier on Lawrence the Deacon and the Call of Catholic Deacons in a Missionary age Watch
Catholic Deacons are ordained members of the Catholic Clergy, ordained not to the priesthood but to the ministry. We are not laymen any ... continue reading
The Saints put legs on the Gospel. They show us by example how we are to respond to the question, Who Do You Say That I Am? They ... continue reading
We can miss a real encounter with the Lord if we think that this account is only about Peter and the disciples - something distant which ... continue reading
Liturgical Worship is not an add on for a Catholic Christian. It is the foundation of Catholic identity; expressing our highest purpose. ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Autoridad del Vaticano y vicepresidente de EEUU condenan violencia en ...
- Daily Reading for Thursday, August 16th, 2018 HD Video
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, August 13th, 2018 HD Video
- Pittsburgh bishop says not all grand jury accusations are ...
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, August 14, 2018
- Recuerdan vida de sacerdote que murio por oponerse al regimen de Hitler
- St. Maximilian Kolbe: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, August 14, 2018
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, August 13th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, August 10th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education