18 January, 2010

Robert F Kennedy: 4 April 1968.... man of peace and faith

"Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much."

4 April 1968

Truer words were never spoken. In this, the authentic Catholic voice was presented, purified by the fires of despair, hate, grief and Christian hope at a time and place of great anger and rage. A testimony that is a pure illustration of where calling people to their better natures, even at the cost of ones own life, is worth the effort. For those six short weeks that spanned their respective assassinations, RFK offered a model of Christian and civil service that helped a nation survive after standing on the precipice of a race war.

He was not a perfect man, but on 4 April 1968, he was the right man, at the right time, with the right message. He showed us how to confront and overcome evil in our society. If only his family had maintained his Catholic witness.

John Paul II expressed the same truth in his calls to the people of the former Soviet Empire. It was by rejecting the path of violence, and simply refusing to accept the illegitimate infringements of the state into the human rights that all people share by virtue of being redeemed by Jesus Christ, and thus all by adoption, brothers and sisters with him, and through him with each other.

Evil can only exist if we decide to permit it to do so, for ultimately it will be vanquished by Christ and his Church.

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