Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fifty minus One

"Kennedy is moving toward something that is not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don't have: depth, humanity, and a certain totality of self-forgetfulness and compassion, not just for individuals but for man as a whole: a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe Kennedy will fully break through into that some day by miracle. But such people are before long marked out for assassination."
-- Thomas Merton, November 18, 1962
John Kennedy's decision to turn toward peace regardless of the consequences to himself is reason for gratitude. We should think of him around Thanksgiving Day, which always falls around the anniversary of his death. And sometimes, as it does this year, on the anniversary itself of the gift of his life. If he had not turned and given us that gift, the world would now be a nuclear wasteland. The fact that he did turn -- and was murdered by an unspeakable power which continues to rule us more strongly than ever -- raises profound questions about our own need to face the same darkness, and to accept the consequences. As he did.