Posted by: fvbcdm | December 7, 2012

Feast of Saint Ambrose (7 Dec 2012)

“Come into the house quickly and listen to the radio; the Japanese are bombing Hawaii!”  I remember those words of my aunt so well!  It was a balmy, pleasant December Sunday afternoon in New Orleans.  I had gone to my uncle’s home to play badminton with his children who were about my age.  129 South Dupre Street.  And all of a sudden, the world changed. Bombs rained down upon the naval base on the outskirts of Honolulu, killing hundreds of Americans and doing immense damage to planes and ships.  Never have I returned to that house, that yard, without remembering that afternoon.  The next day, President Franklin Roosevelt declared war on “the Empire of Japan” because of the atrocities it committed against the United States on December 7, the “date that will live in infamy” as he so memorably called it.  
 
Nearly four years later, one bomb fell upon the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and a few days later, another bomb fell upon the Japanese city of Nagasaki.  The cost in human life was far worse than had been the death toll at Pearl Harbor.  And as we remember Pearl Harbor and then Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we remember also the words of our Savior: “Put away the sword.  Those who take up the sword, die by the sword.”
 
On a happier note, today we celebrate the commemoration of Saint Ambrose, one of the most prominent fathers and doctors of the Church and archbishop of the city of Milan in northern Italy. It was he who consoled the weeping Saint Monica, mother of a brilliant young playboy named Augustine, by telling her, “Do not despair.  The child of these prayers and tears will not be lost.”  Not only was the child of those prayers and tears not lost; but he became a devout Catholic, a priest, a bishop, the most outstanding theologian that lived between the time of the Apostles and that of Saint Thomas Aquinas.  Monica’s prayers and tears were effective indeed in the salvation of her gifted but wayward son.
 
Pearl Harbor was 71 years ago today.  I was a child of not quite twelve; now I am not quite eighty-three but I remember it as though it was yesterday.  May such a thing, and its horrendous aftermath, never happen again in this world of ours. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P. 

Note:  Father Brown composed this message in the past.

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