(Peace in Ukrainian)
March 19, 2022
Peace in Ukraine
A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
As I look out upon the World, my heart breaks. No sooner does it seem like the pandemic is passing than the unjust and cruel war in Ukraine breaks out. The Russian destruction, cruelty, and murder of civilians are criminal to say the least. In addition, it appears Putin’s army is deliberately attacking children in a desperate attempt to break the Ukrainian resolve to fight for their country. I look forward to Mr. Putin’s arrest and conviction for war crimes against humanity.
I am more than troubled by so-called “religious” people who support Putin’s madness under the guise he is saving Christian civilization and values. Homophobic, racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Islamic attacks are, in fact, anti-Christian and inhumane. Putin has a history of scapegoating people to preserve his power and wealth.
The threat of a World War gives us pause. This is a time for calm, courageous, and intelligent leadership. This is not a time for political opportunism or crude nationalism. I find it hard to believe that anyone could imagine Putin’s war is isolated to Ukraine and of no genuine concern to us.
Pope Francis called upon World leaders and those immediately involved to call upon a greater consciousness. He stated: “I would like to appeal to those with political responsibilities to do a serious examination of conscience before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the father of all and not only of some, who wants us to be brothers and sisters and not enemies.” Maybe those charged with political responsibilities need a role model.
We must all “do a serious examination of conscience” as we attempt to live lives worthy of the Gospel in these troubled times. Think for a moment of Sister Lucía Caram, O.P., who on March 6, 2022 drove 4000 miles from her convent in Spain to Romania to rescue Ukrainian refugees. Sr. Lucia is an Argentinian nun living in Spain who said she “spent sleepless nights wondering how she might help.” The Sisters of her convent, who know something about prayer and conscience, are now assisting several Ukrainian families.
Stories like this are happening all over the World. I wish I had the courage of people like Sr. Lucia, but I don’t. I pray to have the humility to be inspired by her. I need to support her and the many people who follow in her footsteps.
I must not allow the evil of Mr. Putin and his allies to poison my soul. The Ukrainian people have already won the war of integrity. Their courage is inspiring, and I must not abandon them. I must not let my sorrow become so overwhelming I lose hope and the courage to work for peace.
God bless Sr. Lucia. Praise be to God for blessing us with people like her.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, may you find serenity of heart in your prayer and strength of courage in your life. Thank you for your courage in troubled times and the generosity of your hearts all the time.