Not Waiting for Caesar

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Can any of you

place before you a single child, smiling

squirming in your arms; and say

The death of this child is a fact of modern war; I

accede

to that death. I regret it of course

but what can one do? We have to destroy

in order to save; villages, women, children.

The system traps us all . . .

The system; horrible word! Can the system

trap the conscience of a free man? Traps are for

animals; freedom is for men. I cannot speak

for you but I will not wait upon Caesar

to instruct me in God’s word. I am a man. I can read:

If a man will save his life, let him lose it.

I say to you, love your enemies, do good to those who

hate you.

Whatever you do to the least of these my brothers,

you do to me.

Blessed are you who suffer persecution for justice’s

sake…

– Fr. Daniel Berrigan, 1969, via Fr. Emannuel Charles McCarthy.

8:52 am on August 2, 2006