29 September 2014

drone terror

In his book, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, based on journal entries up until 1965, Thomas Merton said this about terrorism: "The very essence of terrorism is that it is lawless and absolute power." Watch John Oliver's bit on our government's use of drones (especially toward the end), and see how prescient he was:


20 September 2014

fifty years of markings

In a post three years ago, I acknowledged the fifty-year anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death, who was the current UN Secretary General.  This year is the fiftieth anniversary of his posthumously published book, Markings.

It was actually brought to my attention by the comments of Sister Anne Wambach, prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA.  This was at a service marking the fifty-year anniversary of monastic profession of some of their own.  She noted that Markings “was a kind of spiritual diary, a collection of reflections over a lifetime.”

When reading the book, one can’t help but notice his introverted, and introspective, nature.  He grapples with his unusual position as a deeply spiritual and deeply committed public official.  (It’s too bad that that would be considered “unusual”!)

Hammarskjöld comments on a number of things, but I especially appreciate his quirky entries:

“The ride on the Witches’ Sabbath to the Dark Tower where we meet only ourselves, ourselves, ourselves.” (51)

“Is your disgust at your emptiness to be the only life with which you fill it?” (70) 

Let’s find life on that road to the Dark Tower.