By Chaplain (Capt.) George Oanca
Special to GUIDON
In the early 1960s Premier Khrushchev was speaking before the Supreme Soviet Council.
During this speech, he became severely critical of the late Premier Joseph Stalin. While he was speaking, someone from the audience sent up a note saying, “What were you doing when Stalin committed all these atrocities?”.
When the note made its way forward and Khrushchev received it, he shouted, “Who sent up this note?”
Not a person stirred.
“I’ll give him one minute to stand up!”
The seconds ticked off. Still no one moved.
“All right then, I will confess what I was doing. I was doing exactly what the writer of this note is doing. Nothing; I was afraid to be counted.”
While confession is good for the soul, moral courage in the face of moral crisis, is even better. In the Old Testament, God told Joshua: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
For nearly 2000 years, the teachings of Christ have spread to the peoples of the earth; generation after generation. Yet still, it is so difficult to get people to love instead of hate, to help instead of hurt. We tend to rejoice at the evil that befalls others and we are sad at the good that may come to them. We have no problem seeing the sins of others and work so hard to not forget them. As a people, we constantly will bear grudges and indefinitely find it difficult to forgive.
While there has been a tremendous leap forward in the realm of the physical sciences, we have not gone forward an inch in the area of moral science. The only thing that can save the world today is a renewal of spiritual life and holy living among the people of the earth.
Almighty Father, empower me to stand and be counted for what is right. Fill me with your divine boldness to move forward in moral courage, I pray.
(Editor’s note: Oanca is the 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Chemical Brigade chaplain.)