The Easier Path

Battered religious figures stand watch on a hill above a tattered valley. Nagasaki, Japan. September 24, 1945, 6 weeks after the city was destroyed by the world's second atomic bomb attack. Photo by Cpl. Lynn P. Walker, Jr. (Marine Corps) NARA FILE #: 127-N-136176.
Battered religious figures stand watch on a hill above a tattered valley. Nagasaki, Japan. September 24, 1945, 6 weeks after the city was destroyed by the world’s second atomic bomb attack. Photo by Cpl. Lynn P. Walker, Jr. (Marine Corps) NARA FILE #: 127-N-136176.

Peace in Europe and the Socialist regime in England brought [Knox] little comfort. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki appalled him. The event, which others were greeting with jubilation constituted for Ronald a triple outrage on Faith, Hope, and Charity; on Faith in that the actual mechanics of the device, the discovery, as he phrased it, of ‘an indeterminate element in the heart of things’ seemed at first flush to cast a doubt on the hypothesis of causality and so on the five classical proofs of the existence of God; on Hope by ‘the prospect of an age in which the possibilities of evil are increased by an increase in the possibilities of destruction’; on Charity by ‘the news that men fighting for a good cause have taken, at one particular moment of decision, the easier, not the nobler path. At the moment of victory a sign appeared in heaven; not the comforting Labarum of the Milvian Bridge, but the bright, evil cloud which hung over Hiroshima. In this sign we were to conquer’.

Evelyn Waugh, Monsignor Ronald Knox, Chapman & Hall, 1959.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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