It has been a moving week, seventy-five years since D-Day, the Normandy invasion, the beginning of the end of the war in Europe, 1939-1945. Six years of war ended the horror of the power Naziism and Fascism that dominated Western Europe in the first half of the twentieth century but strengthened the power of Soviet communism in East Europe.
We have heard the service men and women speak of their memories, of the comradeship they shared, of the ideals that inspired them to be willing to sacrifice their lives. They lived it, and most of us would be willing to, we know, if the call came again; but they did it and can witness to the willingness that is in our hearts – to live and die for those we love.
Several times we have been on pilgrimage to Lisieux to honour St Therese and each time we went to Caen, centre of the battle for Normandy, visiting the fine war museum there, travelled to Arromanches and some of the other landing beaches, blending the quiet of Therese’s holy life (she died at 24) with the memories of conquest, cruelty, war, suffering, courage and, finally, freedom.
We visited the war graves at Bayeux (the tapestry was interesting but the cemeteries far more so) kindling our family memories of loved ones who had served in various ways.
We belong to our history, don’t we? Moments and events bring alive that feeling of belonging.
Life is rich with relationships. We learn them slowly, not aware they are happening until the sudden realisation of who and whom and belonging, aware of pride in people we never had the chance to know but only know about. In heaven we shall know and be known.
With God we shall share everything with everyone. We can start now, in this world’s life, caring about (and sometimes for) those we shall know forever in the life with God. So many are waiting for us and we shall come fairly soon, within the next hundred years or so, and then wait for the loved ones left behind. God bless us all, here and there,
(9th June 2019)