Nagasaki Day: Transfiguration

Behold Nagasaki, Hiroshima
their mountains splendid with atomic fire
their peoples transfigured
by atomic blast,
their survivors
writhing in the valley
begging some splendid Christ
to touch and make whole.

Behold the radiant Bomb:
defying the law
Behold, and be struck dumb
by unspeakable terror.

Feast of Disfiguration borne not of the mountain’s vision
but of dumb demons refusing to see in other—
sister and brother
seeing only
building always walls
to keep the other out . . .

“Now there are only two ways to walk:
Toward the radiance of the transfigured Christ
or the radiance of the Bomb.”……
towards the radiance that glorifies,
or the radiance that vaporizes.

“This day I set before you life and death, a blessing and a curse:
Choose this day
whom you will serve.”

–Martha Keys Barker


At Hiroshima there’s a museum
and outside that museum there’s a rock,
and on that rock there’s a shadow.
That shadow is all that remains
of the human being who stood there on August 6, 1945
when the nuclear age began.
In the most real sense of the word,
that is the choice before us.
We shall either end war and the nuclear arms race now in this generation,
or we will become Shadows On the Rock.

–Daniel Berrigan

Two or Three

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. –Matthew 18:20

Lord our God and our Father, we praise you because we are allowed to have community together in the name of Jesus, who has opened our eyes to see you and who has promised to be among us when we are gathered in his name. May our hearts remain unshadowed, even when our lives seem to grow difficult and the future looks dark. Protect us whenever we are tempted and have battles to fight. Deliver us. Make us free people who know we belong to you and who are allowed while still on earth to have a share in eternal life. Amen.

–Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

On Realists

Look at what realists have done for us. They have led us to war and climate change, poverty on an unimaginable scale, and wholesale ecological destruction. Half of humanity goes to bed hungry because of all the realistic leaders in the world. I tell people who call me “unrealistic” to show me what their realism has done. Realism is an outdated, overplayed and wholly exaggerated concept.

–Satish Kumar