Sunday, December 29, 2019

Off the train, get off!

Blessed Franz Jagerstaater

Below is an excerpt from Daniel Berrigan's meditation -- Meditation on a Martyr, in Tribute to Franz Jagerstatter -- on the occasion of Jagerstaater's Beatification in 2007. 

Read the whole thing HEREhttp://nightslantern.ca/meditation.htm

When asked how he could resist Hitler when his own bishops were telling him not to, Jagerstaater said that "they had not been give the grace to see ... "


Was he right in refusing to board the train, and others, who consented and climbed aboard, desperately wrong ? 
Maybe. But this is cold comfort, this proving something, 
he the winner, they the losers. 
Let us say rather, some of the passengers, since his death have undergone a change of heart, stepped down from this train. 
They have come on an insight, not a comforting one, but salutary. The quality of his Christianity; and their own. 
The difference; but also, through him, the possibility.  
The possibility of - faith. Bedrock. Faith in the living God. 
And of necessity; no more faith placed in the idolatrous state, the hideous 'fatherland', the 'volk'.   
That ragged solitary figure trudging alongside the train -he beckons them. 
Off the train, get off !   

To speak of today; it is no longer Hitler's death train we ride, the train of the living dead. Or is it ? 
It is. The same train. Only, if possible (it is possible), longer, faster, cheaper. On schedule, every hour on the hour, speedy and cheap and - unimaginally lethal. An image of life in the world. A ghost train still bound, mad as march weather, for hell. On earth.

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