Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bombing them into submission...

...Catholic style. Diane makes a very interesting analogy, and I can't say at all that I disagree with it.

As long as man has had the ability to launch something, battles have often started out with a "softening of the target". In the battle of Gettysburg during the US civil war, artillery pounded the position of enemy soldiers for some time before troops marched across the field. To put soldiers on the field before the target was softened, would put them at far greater risk, and reduce their overall effectiveness. In medievil times, anything that could go into a trebuchet would be hurled against a castle before men would try to scale the walls. Even tallships would come up along side each other and let their canons blast away at each other from a very close range before men would go across in hand-to-hand battle on the deck. In modern times, targets have been softened by air and by sea.
My strongest belief is that the attraction of so many young people into contemplative, monastic, cloistered communities, is that they are being called up to participate in "softening the target" with the artillery of their prayers and sacrifices. The modern world could not possibly comprehend this because it is not only counter-cultural, but requires faith to grasp. It cannot be measured, nor can it be purchased. Hence, to the world, things such as prayer and sacrifice have no value.
I've said before, if I weren't married with kids I'd probably be in a Trappist monastery somewhere (or Cistercian, Dominican ... who knows). Regardless, I would love to see more artillery here in New Hampshire, and as well more attention given to what we do have already. The people need to know they're there, that it's still a lifestyle that is available, and indeed, desirable - and they need it in more than a couple column-inches in the bulletin. How? I don't know, but it needs to be done.