We can only hope to give the best care possible to our heroes and heroines.
When medicine has gone to its limits
Or sometimes even beyond
In the compassionate care of the providers
It is then that the
Spiritual dimension of the human person
Shifts into high gear
It was already there, this spiritual dimension
Even in her denial
But at the moment of pain that escapes
and encouraging words
and even tears of the soul…
that is when your RMT
Religious Ministry Team
Faith or lack thereof…
Within the indomitable
That source and summit
And yet below, that is attainable
As I have witnessed
And borne with gratitude and trepidation
When a son or daughter of our nation is close to breathing no more,
Or even after the breath has been stolen away,
It is then that we ask their final wish and receive
their final statement
In the timeless moment before departure
stripped of all earthly desire…
life runs dry.
A chaplain records and witnesses this miracle of death
And the RMT can teach the Medical Team to provide likewise.
Let us journey with great love, hope, and humility.
Let us celebrate the hours and days and minutes
that will transform and transfigure
our wounded, dead, and their families forever!
We can only imagine what our kind acts, our compassion, our love, and our skills will create in eternity.
We can only imagine.
Chaplain Ron Moses Camarda +
Camp Fallujah, Iraq
February 24, 2005
Last night I watched in great horror and disbelief when our president evoked a standing ovation for the widow of a Navy Seal who was killed in an operation that was deeply flawed. It didn’t seem like it was done out of compassion, but to make him look like he is doing a great job as our president. Most notable is that the father of that sailor is estranged from the president who hasn’t shown any respect for the loss of his son. The father held that Navy Seal when he was a baby. He was proud of him. He is probably mourning the many civilians and children who were also killed in that raid. Our safety as a nation can’t be bought with the deaths of millions of displaced people. People who make arms and weapons profited from that fiasco. Where are the prophets?
Where are the chaplains and commanding officers who know this is not the way to go? When I was in Iraq, I knew that my most difficult task would be to comfort the families and friends of those who died in my arms or whose bodies I received from the battlefield. As a priest, there are times when I need to be quiet while those mourning the death of their loved ones pounded my chest. That is the Cross and that is the fast that God requires or desires. To feel hopeless at such loss.
I do pray for President Donald Trump, but I still believe that Jesus is trying to break through his stony heart. I am trying not to judge, but Jesus does give me permission to observe the fruit. “You will know them by their fruit.” So when I think of our leaders of our country (including the media, congress, lobbyists and military industrial complex), I see people trying to profit at the expense of bearing the fruit of love, joy and peace.
Think of anyone you are supporting and see whether they have any of these fruits of the Holy Spirit…
These are more important than the Ten Commandments, because this fruit is what rules and laws are aiming for. This is what decreases the need for government; when people love one another. I have a long way to go, but at least I believe I am bearing some of this fruit.
For Ash Wednesday and Lent, I speaking out against hate that is often masked behind self-righteousness and hypocrisy. Of course, I am beginning with myself. It is not easy, but the peace, love and joy that rises in my heart is worth the fasting and sacrifice.
Love, joy, peace,
Ron Moses +
The fruit of silence is prayer
the fruit of prayer is faith
the fruit of faith is love
the fruit of love is service
the fruit of service is peace…
I prayed this prayer of Mother Teresa many times as the soldier, marine or sailor died.
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