Newsletter 11 & 18 November 2018
As the clocks strike
11am on this Sunday 11th November 2018, we remember the Armistice that was
signed exactly 100 years ago and brought to an end the terrible hostilities of
the First World War, sometimes called the Great War.
Many of us will have
had handed down to us memories of the conflict that claimed so many lives on
Some of us will have
visited Cemeteries in which loved ones were buried or paused to pay tribute to
the sacrifices made at such memorials as the Menin Gate in Ypres. Others will
have watched memorial services on television.
I thank God that both
my grandfathers survived - one as a casualty in a prison hospital - the other,
having left the trenches on leave to be married to my grandmother, ended up
recovering from injuries incurred when their honeymoon Mail boat from Dublin to
Holyhead was torpedoed. They were lucky to survive in the cruel Irish Sea - 500
of the 800 passengers perished.
Is there any glory in
war? Certainly, there are many examples of bravery and self-sacrifice. Our
gospel today talks of the widow putting in all she possessed - many combatants
on each side 'gave their all.'
But as well as the
suffering incurred by those who died and their families, many suffered grievous
injuries - some physical, some mental. It's only today that we recognise and
try to help those with PTSD.
Pope John XXIII
prayed for 'Pacem in Terris' - peace on earth - in his well-known encyclical
that taught that each one of us had a responsibility to work for peace - not
just world leaders.
And so today we
remember those who have died and suffered and pray that the peace of God, which
surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.