Ten years ago, I would have been ecstatic about the news all over the television news stations and The Washington Post. When I opened my newspaper this morning, I hurriedly flipped it over. I didn’t want to see the photographs of the person on the front page. Ever since last night, when President Obama gave his news press (although the media had already spilled the beans, so to speak) I did not feel happy and elated. Just the opposite, I felt sad. Many people might question the reason for my saying this, and I shall explain it as best as I am able.
Lately, I have been forcing myself to confront and watch the PBS Specials about WWII, Hitler, the Nazi Party, and the horrors, which were carried out in the name of The Reich. I listened to incredibly heart-rending stories from survivors and of unspeakable atrocities of the past. I kept asking my husband why they kept showing these films, and making movies about this terrible and dark period of our history. He told me that if you do not remember history, then it has a way of repeating itself. There are those who do not believe this ever happened and I must consider them to be half-wits, or that they were brainwashed into believing a lie.
When those planes were smashed into the Twin Towers, and I saw (along with the rest of the world) those poor souls dying before our eyes, I felt rage and hatred for the animals that dared do this to our people. I wanted to see them pay for the harm they had done! Much the same as the innocent people in those countries we later invaded. In their cases, they kept being bombarded, and maimed, and killed, and persecuted, for years and years. They did not deserve this treatment any more than our nation did. But there is so much of the story that we were not privy to. So much illusion going on and lies told to us. Sad. Makes me feel hurt that those who protect us also lie to us.
CBS News and Arianna Huff stated that on May 1, 1945, Germany reported Hitler had been killed in a bombing. There was debate if this was the truth. The fact remains that May 1, 2011 was auspiciously used as a ‘target date with death’ for OBL. I do not want to write his name. It has been on automatic loop inside my mind, ever since last night.
The whole point of this is that my Catholic upbringing has taught me repeatedly, that Jesus told us to “Love one another, and to forgive our brother seventy, times seventy, times seven”. I forced myself to watch the recent airing of the WWII films, and I listened to those people’s stories, because I needed to find a way, somewhere inside my heart, to forgive Hitler and his men. Forgive them! Why?
The pure and simple reason is that I am a sinner. I do try to lead a normal and decent and respectable life. I try to be kind and good. It’s not always easy, and for years I have lived with the terror of these horror stories (many Catholics were in those camps), and had a reserve of built-up hatred inside me. It lay beneath the surface of my well-intended goodness. What a contradiction I was.
I will want to be shown mercy. I will want to be forgiven. I will want to be well received on that final day. So how can I expect forgiveness, when I hold grudges, or hate, or loathing in my heart? Easy answer … I cannot. Something needed to change and I finally concluded that it had to be me. My attitude had to change. It does not mean that I condone any mistreatment of another. It does not mean that I approve of the evil I see. It means I must forgive … let go … release … in order that I may live with peace in my heart, and pray to be deserving of forgiveness.
When I saw the OBL photos and video footage, I felt true sadness that he had a twisted mind, sadness for his family, and the shame that he brought to them. Sad that such a nice looking man did not give love and goodness, instead of teaching others to hate our country. I felt sad for the friends and family of victims of senseless acts of violence. I have forgiven Hitler. I have forgiven OBL … I have released them … for one day I will want to be forgiven as well.
The peace of Our Creator is within you.