Friday, 14 April 2017

Prayers Before Battle

Both Poul Anderson and SM Stirling write empathetically from the pov of a Catholic praying while going into battle. For Anderson's Admiral Cajal, see here and here.

Stirling's Abbot Dmwoski reminds the Lord that His people fight for their families, for their fathers' graves "...and for Your Church." (A Meeting At Corvallis, Chapter Seventeen, p. 466)

That sounds like Horatius fighting for:

"...the ashes of his fathers
"And the temples of his gods..." (see here)

The Abbot continues:

"Yet Thy will be done, not mine: for Thy judgments are just..." (ibid.)

That sounds like Socrates:

"...he asked simply for good gifts, 'for the gods know best what things are good.'" (see here)

I do not share the Abbot's belief that the world is ruled by a just judge. All of us deal with the same reality but in different ways. For human beings, different ways include different beliefs. It seems to me that the only justice, and injustice, is made by us. A death by natural causes is neither just nor unjust whereas a death caused by a human being can be either. But we are the single reality becoming conscious of itself - in my world-view, not in the Abbot's.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Ha! I too thought of the famous lines from Lord Macaulay's poem about Horatius.

    And like the Abbot, I do believe God is real and is the Judge of the universe. I find the atheist view of the cosmos bleak and unconvincing.