Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis on Remembering Srebrenica

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis has a new blogger. Check out her debut post. Essential appetizer:
After World War II, the world said "Never Again." But then there was Rwanda. And Bosnia. And now the Darfur region of Sudan. And … what’s next on the list? It can feel overwhelming, reading about these atrocities in the daily paper as we drink our lattes and go about with our daily lives. What can we do about it?

As Catholics, we are called to do something very real and very difficult. We are called into solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the globe. Our tradition of Catholic Social Teaching tells us that we are, all of us, brothers and sisters. Nazi concentration camp survivor, Bosnian villager, Hutu and Tutsi, Sudanese Refugee, and coffee-sipping newspaper reading American alike. We are all God’s children.
Solidarity is our obligation because we are all a part of Christ's broken body upon this Earth. We heal only in him, and since he is with and in all of us together, we heal only when we come together in solidarity. It's easy to look away. All to human, too. We look away only from the opportunity to meet our savior in our hurting brothers and sisters, however. That leaves us alone. That loneliness never goes away. Thus, we begin the experience of hell here on Earth, and we will continue it in eternity if we refuse to change our minds. How could it be any other way? For hell is absense from God, and if we reject the least of his brothers and sisters--whatever our reason--we reject him. Sarte was wrong. Hell is never other people. Hell is being without them.

Together, as the Mystical Body of Christ, we can heal one another through his Love. We do this whenever we reach out in compasion to those that need us: our families, co-workers and neighbors, our fellow parishioners and friends, and those beyond the borders of our lives--the strangers, prisoners, the poor and marginalized. When we foster this kind of solidarity, Evil has no opportunity to unleash another Darfur. For when we welcome the needy, we welcome him, and that means we welcome the One who sent him. Evil has no power before the Lord.

I wish I could say there will never be another genocide after Darfur. Unfortunately, all of us fall away from our call far too often. We the world will grieve for a time and hold itself in shame. Then, we'll forget. That's why we Christians, we Fools--who for some inexplicable reasons believe a Jewish carpenter in 1st century Palestine was the Son of the Living God--must never forget. We must ask our Father in heaven for forgiveness when we know we did not do enough to save the people of Darfur. Then we must reach out to the next vulnerable and needy people. We must stand vigilant with them and with our God against the encroaching Darkness.

We can't forget. We must remember. When we do, we give the world hope that at last all people together will keep that pledge made long ago: "Never Again!"