Our guest blogger, Ernst Hoffman, strikes a cord with the imminent possibility of war and its intersection with our faith.
JMJ, pray for us.
God is good,
The Bear is backErnst Hoffman
In 1876, Punch Magazine published this cartoon, which refers to Shakespeare’s famous line from Julius Caesar, “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war”. It was obvious then, as it is now, that Russia planned war on the Balkan States. One of my great friends from Lithuania told me over our Easter holiday, that the people of Lithuania can see, again, the desires of Russia to take over their country and those of Europe.
Make no mistake, American readers, that many Europeans understand that Putin intends to re-create the old Soviet borders and more.
I need only look at some articles in the press lately which are admitting the colonial aspirations of Russia. Nothing is new under the sun. Although the Russian elections have taken place, and Putin has again become the supreme leader of the largest nation in the world, people have ignored the fact that this ex-KGB officer purposefully has created war rhetoric to not only distract his own people from domestic problems, as did the tzar so long ago, but to pander to the Russia desire for power.
Even your own media outlets predicted his desire for war-rhetoric, but missed the point. See this article for one example of a near-sighted view. http://www.newsweek.com/2017/12/22/putin-preparing-world-war-iii-trump-746988.html
What Americans, and even Trump do not realise, is that Putin is sincere is beginning a war. Europe will be weakened by Trump’s destruction of NATO, and by the possible breakup of the EU. What many forget is that the EU was not originally set-up as a commercial venture of unity, but one of necessary political unity to halt another war. No more war, was the cry of those Europeans nations wanting a united Europe. Those who began the EU understood that unless EU nations stood together, and built up a defensive army, sharing goods and resources, any Russian dictator could easily walk over Europe. This will happen.
Let me refer to some of Putin’s ideas, found in most of the British newspapers this past week. Some of those words indicate a retaliation to the Syrian bombing, Some of those words refer to the fact that Russia will use nuclear weapons to destroy the world if nuclear weapons hit Russia.
Now, Congress seems a bit naive. Several weeks ago, 24 sanctions were passed regarding Russia. I refer to this article http://www.france24.com/en/20180406-usa-russia-sanctions-russian-oligarchs-officials-malign-activity-deripaska-mnuchin-trump
My question is this. Where is diplomacy and why has America and Britain given up on diplomacy? The West in continuing to bait the Bear will end up in the greatest war ever seen on earth. In March, Putin said this with regard to the use of nuclear weapons against Russia. He stated he would respond immediately to such weapons used against Russia. Here are his exact words:
“This is called a retaliatory, counter strike, when we receive a legal right to respond. Yes this will be a global catastrophe for humankind. It will be a global catastrophe for the world. But as a citizen of Russia, as a head of the Russian state, I want to ask – why do we need a world if Russia ceases to exist?”
This was reported in multiple news sites in Europe.
One must recall the words of Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Akita. Terror and destruction will come, there is no doubt about this, as Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven and Earth has warned us of this coming time of tribulation.
How can we avoid this?
Penance and prayer. Mortification, what is purposeful self-denial in reparation for the numerous sins of humankind, including each one of us.
Russia seems not to have been consecrated to Our Lady, otherwise, we would see a mighty, overwhelming Catholic opposition in Russia to Putin and his regime. This is not happening. The West has pretended that the Bear is just a cub, or a dead bear. This is not so,
When the moment comes, and it will come in the lifetime of most of my readers today, the next global war will begin because of the animosity among the Russians, Chinese and Americans, as well as the Europeans, who, although secularised and fallen away from their Catholic roots, still have the soil of Catholicism underneath their feet, to call them back.
Let me end this warning to prepare with the words of Pope Francis. He gave a wonderful speech to the European Union Parliament in 2014. Here are only two extracts from that speech.
One of the most celebrated frescoes of Raphael is found in the Vatican and depicts the so-called “School of Athens”. Plato and Aristotle are in the centre. Plato’s finger is pointed upward, to the world of ideas, to the sky, to heaven as we might say. Aristotle holds his hand out before him, towards the viewer, towards the world, concrete reality. This strikes me as a very apt image of Europe and her history, made up of the constant interplay between heaven and earth, where the sky suggests that openness to the transcendent – to God – which has always distinguished the peoples of Europe, while the earth represents Europe’s practical and concrete ability to confront situations and problems.
The future of Europe depends on the recovery of the vital connection between these two elements. A Europe which is no longer open to the transcendent dimension of life is a Europe which risks slowly losing its own soul and that “humanistic spirit” which it still loves and defends.
Taking as a starting point this opening to the transcendent, I would like to reaffirm the centrality of the human person, which otherwise is at the mercy of the whims and the powers of the moment. I consider to be fundamental not only the legacy that Christianity has offered in the past to the social and cultural formation of the continent, but above all the contribution which it desires to offer today, and in the future, to Europe’s growth. This contribution does not represent a threat to the secularity of states or to the independence of the institutions of the European Union, but rather an enrichment. This is clear from the ideals which shaped Europe from the beginning, such as peace, subsidiarity and reciprocal solidarity, and a humanism centred on respect for the dignity of the human person.
I wish, then, to reiterate the readiness of the Holy See and the Catholic Church, through the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (COMECE), to engage in meaningful, open and transparent dialogue with the institutions of the European Union. I am likewise convinced that a Europe which is capable of appreciating its religious roots and of grasping their fruitfulness and potential, will be all the more immune to the many forms of extremism spreading in the world today, not least as a result of the great vacuum of ideals which we are currently witnessing in the West, since “it is precisely man’s forgetfulness of God, and his failure to give him glory, which gives rise to violence”.
An anonymous second-century author wrote that “Christians are to the world what the soul is to the body”. The function of the soul is to support the body, to be its conscience and its historical memory. A two-thousand-year-old history links Europe and Christianity. It is a history not free of conflicts and errors, but one constantly driven by the desire to work for the good of all. We see this in the beauty of our cities, and even more in the beauty of the many works of charity and constructive cooperation throughout this continent. This history, in large part, must still be written. It is our present and our future. It is our identity. Europe urgently needs to recover its true features in order to grow, as its founders intended, in peace and harmony, since it is not yet free of conflicts.
Dear Members of the European Parliament, the time has come to work together in building a Europe which revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values. In building a Europe which courageously embraces its past and confidently looks to its future in order fully to experience the hope of its present. The time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe which is fearful and self-absorbed, in order to revive and encourage a Europe of leadership, a repository of science, art, music, human values and faith as well. A Europe which contemplates the heavens and pursues lofty ideals. A Europe which cares for, defends and protects man, every man and woman. A Europe which bestrides the earth surely and securely, a precious point of reference for all humanity!
Trump’s rhetoric, Congress’ sanctions, Britain’s ousting of Russian diplomats, other nation’s removal of embassy staffs from Russia will not stop a war. Now, war is inevitable, unless we kneel down and do what Catholics when faced with the Saracen hoards did in 1571 and 1683.
Pray, do penance, say the rosary daily.
There is no other way. Remember Hilaire Belloc’s words, “The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith.” Without Faith, all nations, even the United States, will fail. If you have not read his book on this subject, it is free online. Here is the link. https://archive.org/details/europethefaith00belluoft
Ernst Hoffman is a retired chaplain and educator who is a European citizen.