War, religion and the nation stateAugust 15, 2022
The holiness of nation statesAugust 24, 2022
The fall of Kabul happened on 15th August 2021, the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The religious broadcasts of the day, probably like the rest of us, preferred not to notice. We sang the Magnificat to one of its many glorious settings. POTUS attended a well-publicised Mass. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Marys were cast out on to the streets of Kabul. It is thanks to St. Luke that we have Mary’s hymn of praise. Where is his Mary’s lament?
Perhaps it was too difficult even for a St. Luke to write. Someone had to. It was left to Picander, Bach’s librettist 1500 years later in the opening chorus to the St. Matthew Passion, “Come ye daughters of Zion, help me lament.” How will we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary this year? She is still there on the streets of Kabul to remind us of the impossibility of grief, against which denials of whatever shape are empty.
9th August 2022