Saturday, November 6, 2010

Remember; Remember.

Note: This blog was written yesterday, but since the internet where I'm staying at the moment is shite, I've posted yesterday's blog today.

Since today is the 5th of November, I thought today’s blog should be about remembrance.

To start with, however,  let’s consider Guy Fawkes. He was revolutionary; a blog on his life could be called Revolutionary. Fawkes saw something that he believed to be unjust and tried to do something about it.
Although his methods were far from ideal, his determination to fix a wrong that he perceived is to be admired. He was described by Fr Oswald Tesimond, a former school friend, as “cheerful of manner, opposed to quarrels and strife…[and] loyal to his friends.” In part, the suffering of his Catholic friends under King James was reason for his actions. Moreover, when asked to give up those fighting for (what he perceived to be) justice with him, he did not do so readily, and only under torture.

I will never argue that the plans of Fawkes and the other 12 conspirators were just, since I do not believe that the taking of human life is ever just; however, I do believe that Fawkes’ conviction in his cause and selflessness once he was discovered are admirable. Therefore, selflessness and conviction - together and never separate from one another - are the basis of revolutionary-ness. Well, that, and actually changing - or attempting to change - some situation that is unjust.

Okay. Remembrance.
November is the month that the Church chooses to remember the dead and to pray specifically for them. It is also the month that includes Guy Fawkes and Remembrance Day, amongst other days where we are called to remember.

Why remember? What do we remember? What do we mean by remembrance?
To me, part of remembering is thanksgiving.
On All Saints and All Souls Days, we thank Our Lord for his mercy on us, on sinners. We thank him for raising the Son and for giving us all hope in the resurrection.
On the 5th, people remember Guy Fawkes and the Gun Powder Plot. For some, thanksgiving is offered for someone having had the willingness to stand up for injustice; others give thanks that no one was hurt, injured or killed because of the discovery of the Plot.
On Remembrance Day, thanks is given to and for the soldiers who have fought to defend our county (wherever that may be), particularly in World War One, but certainly for all wars being fought in defence past and present.

But it is more than that. We remember those who have died because their lives can teach us something; we remember those who have died violently so that we learn what to avoid in order to end human suffering.

Who do you remember, Reader? 


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