We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Miracles

Hiroshima | AP/Catholic Herald

Hiroshima and Nagasaki will forever be associated with the advent of the atomic age and the nuclear arms race. There, at those two places, hellfire visited earth. 

The people of those two devastated cities paid for the sins of their leaders who mercilessly attacked Pearl Harbour and many Asia-Pacific nations. The ambition of a ruthless generation was halted by the application of a terrifying justice, a retributive act that should never be applied again to any nation.

The thought of a global or even a regional exchange of nuclear weapons and the nightmarish consequences that would follow should convince every nation and individual to abandon ambitious and hostile behaviour which risks ending millions if not billions of lives, not to mention the harm to countless species and the contamination of the earth and atmosphere that would plague the planet for innumerable generations.

'Miracle' is not the word one would immediately associate with the first and second atomic bombs dropped on Japan.

While the secular media fixates on the Obama visit to Hiroshima, it might be worth reflecting on miraculous events that occurred at the time of the bomb blasts in order to derive a message of hope amidst the darkness that inhabits the human heart which, untouched by the Gospel, can grow into a horrifying monster that consumes entire nations.

The miracle of the survivors of the Hiroshima bomb who prayed the Holy Rosary.
The Jesuits priests Hugo Lassalle, Hubert Schiffer, Wilhelm Kleinsorge, and Hubert Cieslik were at the rectory of the church of Our Lady of the Assumption, one of the few buildings that resisted the bomb blast.—CNA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Schiffer
Father Hubert Schiffer (1915 – March 27, 1982) was one of eight German Jesuits who survived the nuclear bomb "Little Boy" dropped on Hiroshima. He was only eight blocks away from ground zero when the explosion occurred. [...] The group of Jesuits survived not only the explosion, but also the effects of the radiation (the doctors were amazed they did not present any radiation illness).
According to the account of Jesuit priest Fr. John Seimes, who had been on the outskirts of the city:
They were in their rooms at the Parish House—it was a quarter after eight, exactly the time when we had heard the explosion in Nagatsuke—when came the intense light and immediately thereafter the sound of breaking windows, walls and furniture. They were showered with glass splinters and fragments of wreckage. Father Schiffer was buried beneath a portion of a wall and suffered a severe head injury. The Father Superior received most of the splinters in his back and lower extremity from which he bled copiously. Everything was thrown about in the rooms themselves, but the wooden framework of the house remained intact.
Another account adds that he had just finished saying Mass, and had gone to eat breakfast when the bomb hit:
Suddenly, a terrific explosion filled the air with one bursting thunderstroke. An invisible force lifted me from the chair, hurled me through the air, shook me, battered me, whirled me round and round like a leaf in a gust of autumn wind.
He looked around, and there were no buildings left except for the church house.
(T)he only physical harm to Fr. Shiffer was that he could feel a few pieces of glass in the back of his neck. It's also said that after the surrender of Japan, the American army doctors explained to him that his body would begin to deteriorate because of the radiation; yet to the doctors' amazement, Fr. Schiffer's body appeared to contain no elevated radiation or ill-effects from the bomb. In fact, he lived for another 33 years in good health, and was present at the Eucharistic Congress held in Philadelphia in 1976. At that time, all eight members of the Jesuit community from Hiroshima were still alive.
The surprising survival of the Jesuits in Hiroshima is similar to that reported in Nagasaki, where a Franciscan friary built by St. Maximilian Kolbe also went unaffected. Since the bombs were dropped, the priests have been examined over 200 times by scientists. Each time the priests repeated the same explanation for their survival:
We believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the Rosary in that home.
Watch/read, too, the story of the Japanese and Irish nuns who survived the Hiroshima blast:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbAKxzy-pm0
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/the-galway-nun-who-witnessed-the-atomic-bomb-drop-at-hiroshima-1.2308586

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