On July 8th, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot to death in Nara, Japan. We feel a strong sense of outrage over this violence and sincerely pray for the repose of Mr. Abe. God, please grant us a gift of true wisdom and maturity to resolve differences of ideas and positions not by violence or force, but with words.
The outstanding writer Kazutoshi Hando once pointed out several dangerous signs that a society reveals as it heads toward war: (1) Victim consciousness and dissent are stirred up. (2) Freedom of speech is threatened. (3) Education turns nationalistic. (4) The surveillance system is tightened. (5) Nationalism is emphasized. (6) Terrorism begins to be carried out.
I am afraid that we are witnessing some of these symptoms now in Japan.
Dear God, please help us not to lose our objectivity in the face of this shocking incident. We beg you to give us your Spirit now. Do not allow us to fall into the trap of being concerned only with the tragic and dramatic side of the incident, because this can blind us. Help us to pay attention not only to the bright aspects of our recent past, but also to its dark realities and negative legacies, especially in the world of politics and the economy.
Help us grow aware of the danger of a climate that restricts our healthy criticism and critique. Please give us the sense of balance and the courage to express our mind openly, when necessary. This is what we, as religious, are called to offer, with your assistance.
For all these, we pray to God.
- Junko Tajima, RSCJ