Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our Lady of Sorrows and Nagasaki

Long essay at CWR

How do you respond to the enemy when your entire family is killed by a bomb?

a long book review on a physician who turned to prayer and acceptance, seeing the suffering as part of the larger picture.

Nagai also maintained that had taken place that August, as well as being so intensely personal, had a deeper significance for the whole of Japan. The horrors visited upon that land were linked to earlier actions and the spirit of militarism its leaders had fostered. This was not some sort of ‘curse’, however, but instead, viewed through the lens of eternity, became a mystical foreshadowing of the Apocalypse and, therefore, paradoxically, a preamble to the coming of the Lamb. Now Nagai understood events only in these mystical terms. Such sentiments were met with hostility, at least by many, for others thought they were to prove the beginning of a healing, both for themselves and their wounded nation.
Nagai's later years, those few granted him, were ones of witness, filled with prayer, contemplation and what care he could give his two children.

This physician was a non believer who became Christian, but the overtones of accepting suffering is also deeply Buddhist (in contrast to the "Jesus heals and makes us successful" Christianity of the west).

So why chose to be a Christian?

Guess I'll have to read the book.

However, I am reminded of Endo's The Samurai, who accepts Christ, not as the triumphant King of the Spanish priests, but because He is always there as a loving presence, caring for those who are the suffering. More from Endo HERE.

The religious mentality of the Japanese is --just as it was at the time when the people accepted Buddhism--responsive to one who "suffers with us" and who "allows for our weakness," but their mentality has little tolerance for any kind of transcendent being who judges humans harshly, then punishes them.  In brief, the Japanese tend to seek in their gods and buddhas a warm-hearted mother rather than a stern father.  With this fact always in mind I tried not so much to depict God in the father-image that tends to characterize Christianity, but rather to depict the kind-hearted maternal aspect of God revealed to us in the personality of Jesus. (1)

No comments: