Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"What does war do to death?"

C. S. Lewis is helpful with this:
"What does war do to death? It certainly does not make it more frequent; 100 percent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased. It puts several deaths earlier, but I hardly supposed that that is what we fear. Certainly when the moment comes, it will make little difference how many years we have behind us. Does it increase our chances of a painful death? I doubt it. As far as I can find out, what we call natural death is usually preceded by suffering, and a battlefield is one of the very few places where one has a reasonable prospect of dying with no pain at all. Does it decrease our chances of dying at peace with God? I cannot believe it. If active service does not persuade a man to prepare for death, what conceivable concatenation of circumstances would? Yet war does do something to death. It forces us to remember it. The only reason why the cancer at sixty or the paralysis at seventy-five do not bother us is that we forget them. War makes death real to us, and that would have been regarded as one of its blessings by most of the great Christians of the past. They thought it good for us to be always aware of our mortality. I am inclined to think that they were right. (My emphasis)"

[C. S. Lewis Learning in Wartime Pp. 31 (From The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, MacMillan)]

War is hideous...but do you think that maybe this is one of the reasons that man in our country want to back off of the war?? Just something to think about.

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