Sundays are busy:
- 6:00-7:00 AM – Adoration at Holy Redeemer in Cherokee County. This includes the Rosary or a chaplet, Lauds from the Liturgy of the Hours, lots of singing and other devotions. Full Benediction. While adorers are leading those prayers, I’m hearing confessions which are very well attended.
- 7:00-7:30 AM – race up to Prince of Peace in Graham County
- 7:30-8:00 AM – set up the church for Adoration and Mass. The above picture is from yesterday in Robinsville. Adoration includes Rosary. Again, I’m available for confessions during this time.
- 8:30 AM – simple reposition and then Mass
- 10:00 AM – race back to Holy Redeemer in Cherokee County
- 10:30 AM – Confessions while the Rosary is led by others in church
- 11:00 AM – Mass
- 12:15 PM – Social in the social hall
- 2:00 PM – Quarterly Finance Council meeting
- 3:30 PM – Communion Calls (@ 100 miles across four counties) ending 8:30 PM. All the stops were super-inspiring for me, watching Jesus at work. Absolutely beautiful. I love being a priest. I love being with the sick and shut-ins and the dying.
- 8:30 PM – Feed eager Laudie-dog and enthusiastic Shadow-dog, and, finally, me.
- 9:00 PM – Go through some emails, and missed phone calls and social media.
- Zero-Dark-Who-Knows – zonked out: Oh angel of God, my guardian dear…
Meanwhile, people you meet in this tiniest of all parishes in the middle of nowhere are always amazing. After Mass in Robinsville I met the guy who, hundreds of miles and four hours away from home, now on a yearly camping trip in these parts… a guy who, after a lifetime in the Military, went to work on designing MOAB or GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (the “Mother Of All Bombs”). He’s a devout Catholic, very active in the apostolate, as is his wife. He spoke of the “kill-zone” being a 25 mile radius. I said it would be better to call it a “stop the threat” zone (using concealed carry terminology). He laughed at that immediately – which tells me something – and admitted that that was not his language, but that of his physicists. Here’s one of his nerdy scientists talking us through a test explosion.
How to say it? “Unconventional-Conventional”? All war is hell. No one “likes war.” But, because of unjust aggression, there it is. If something like the MOAB gets us a step away from nuclear bombs that’s a step in the right direction. You can avoid:
- Nuclear radiation for the unforeseeable future in affected areas
- Nuclear winter
- Nuclear famine
- Billions of people dying for consequences of even regional conflicts
But besides all that, carpet bombing populations is immoral. That’s true. But this isn’t true of a MOAB if it’s not used on a population center. I would never say that this guy wants his MOAB dropped on population centers. No. We did use the MOAB once for real, and it was used in the middle of nowhere, taking out 36 militants.
But, of course, it could happen. That’s true. The U.S. dropped nukes on the only two solidly Catholic population centers in Japan. And, yes, I’ve been having this discussion with those involved in one way or the other off an on for decades, since the early 1980s. It’s simply not true that killing so many innocent people just to make an intellectual point about power is ever a good thing even if the consequences are good, such as stopping a war. You can always find another way. Tell people to look at their military base in the middle of nowhere and explode it while they are looking. That’s more than enough.
Any tool could be used the wrong way. That’s not the tool’s fault. A butter knife is a good thing, but it can be used the wrong way. A car is a good thing, but it can be used the wrong way. So…
Meanwhile, in the midst of designing such bombs, there is time for prayer, is there not? Yes, there is. Adoration. Rosaries. Even in this tiniest of all parishes. Prayer is, after all, the greatest of all weapons beating down any need for a defensive war in which one might have the need to make a positive contribution to the virtue of justice by making use of such a thing. Again, all war is hell, but Jesus has faced and conquered all of hell. You might say that the love of God shouldn’t make up part of an analogy with weapons of war. But Satan thinks of prayer and the love of God in exactly that way. It is always the love of God, but for those who reject love, it is more devastating than any kind of bomb whatsoever. For Satan, God’s love is hell. For humans on this earth, it’s a chance for conversion from darkness to light.