Remembrance Reflection

10/11/2017 7:06 pm

Fr Michael Fava is the Administrator of the Catholic Bishopric for the Forces. In this short reflection, Fr Michael talks about remembrance, poppies and thankfulness.


Anniversaries are important – happy or sad.

Remembrance, around 11 November, is such an anniversary – a time to remember our war dead.

The Forces and the nation pay homage to the dead – and also to the living, those serving and the retired. We give thanks for their sacrifices and recall those who are bereaved.

Wearing poppies and the two-minute silence sees us acknowledge human suffering and how many lives have changed forever. Through injuries, and in so many other ways, a heavy price has been paid in physical and emotional hardship.

The Forces, their families, retired and wounded veterans are a community familiar with paying a price in order to uphold the security of the nation.

The deaths of our generation link us in a chain of sacrifice to earlier generations who suffered before ours. Sufferings past and present teach us respect for the human spirit, which is so resilient.

Our recent casualties, thankfully, have many to mourn them but helpfully the humble poppy enables us to focus on the unknown names of long ago whose sacrifice is known only to God.

It's really important that, despite the passing of years, sacrifice isn't forgotten. By remembering, I believe we become more humane people – thankful for the sacrifices of our dead and those still living.

Thankfulness shows humanity at its best alongside selflessness, courage, hope and many other virtues.

Thankfulness lies at the heart of Christian faith.

Thankfulness and hope account for how people manage to face the worst that life can throw at them and carry on.

So at this time of Remembrance, I believe we are renewed in our humanity, renewed by remembering what war does to human beings. Something as simple as saying thank you – as simple as the poppy – connects us again with the preciousness and the fragility of life.


You can also listen to this reflection.

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