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Finding Peace in the Nuclear Age

October 19, 2021
Sister Moon at 99.8% over our deck

Gentle whistles of a bluebird and, in the mist, a SAC plane swoops huge and low over the ridges where Edelin’s valley is and where the final hermitages are to be. I wonder if it carries bombs. Most probably. They all do, I am told. The technological society! I will go out and split some logs and gather a basket of pinecones. (October 30, 1964 – Thomas Merton’s Journals: Dancing in the Waters of Life)

My first summer as a Chaplain Candidate, Second Lieutenant in the USAF (1985) I was assigned to a Strategic Air Command base (Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, TX) as a part of my introduction to the Air Force Chaplain Corps while I was in seminary. I can tell Fr. Louis (Thomas Merton’s name which he took as he professed his final vows as a Monk and then as a priest at The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani) that they most likely carried nuclear warheads on most missions and may have carried them on that mission. The insanity of the Cold War still sends chills down my spine and deep into my soul.

Fr. Louis, i am with you… find something down to earth such as splitting wood and gathering pinecones as you contemplate the fragility of life on this planet and humankind’s inhumanly towards humankind… pray for us, Fr. Louis as we continue to make so many missteps on this road called life. Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace…


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