April 28, 2022
THE HEART MATTERS
A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is no less than a heart-breaking experience. People all over the World feel powerless as day by day we witness the genocide of a people. The cruelty is overwhelming. Women and girls are raped, little children killed, and massive destruction abounds. Sometimes all we can do is weep.
Some think Ukraine ought to surrender so lives might be saved. Others believe we should risk nuclear war to top the atrocities. One thing is clear, there is no clear answer except to pay attention to the courage of the Ukrainian people themselves.
I saw powerful images as I surveyed the latest reports on the Russian assault on Good Friday. The Ukrainian People carried a Cross through the streets as they passed bombed-out buildings and homes. I am inspired by the faith of so many who suffer terribly. I wonder if I could ever have such faith.
We seem frozen in the face of the tragedy unfolding before us. The words of Jesus on the Cross echo in this time of war and destruction, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” The violence we are witnessing breaks our hearts, and we cannot imagine how we can ever recover from the horror we are seeing.
I suggest we look to the Ukrainian people themselves. It often happens that oppressed and injured people rise up anew, rebuild their lives, and inspire the people of the World. As history unfolds, the courage, faith, and bravery of the people of Ukraine will inspire generations not yet born.
For the moment, we must work for peace in any way we can. Our broken hearts testify to our care and love for those who suffer. Therefore, we join with Pope Francis in demanding an end to this senseless, immoral, and illegal war:
“In the name of God, listen to the cry of those who suffer, and put an end to the bombings and the attacks! Let there be real and decisive focus on the negotiations, and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe. In the name of God, I ask you: stop this massacre!”
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for allowing your hearts to be broken. Your broken hearts are no less than your love for the hurting peoples of the World. Be aware of their love for us.