A reflection from Dorothy Day on the Transfiguration and the opening of the atomic age 65 years ago

Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, Japan, talks with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the history of the Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki Aug. 5. The original cathedral was built in 1914, but was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. Ban visited Nagasaki ahead of the 65th anniversary of the Aug. 9 atomic bombing of the city. (CNS photo/Junko Ito, Catholic Weekly of Japan)

Sixty-five years ago two bombs opened the nuclear era, destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9) and sending humanity on a new course.

Aug. 6 is also the feast of the Transfiguration, the time when Christ, joined by Peter, John and James, went up what traditionally has been identified as Mount Tabor in Galilee and was transfigured before their eyes. Matthew tells us that Christ’s face “shone like the sun and his garments became as white as light.”

Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and who at times has been promoted as a candidate for sainthood, offered her thoughts on the bombings shortly after they occurred in the Sept. 1, 1945 issue of The Catholic Worker newspaper. Her reflection connects the bombings with the Transfiguration event and, not mincing words, leads the reader to ponder the words of Christ in relation to how our brothers and sisters in the world are treated in relationship. She contrasts the U.S. sense of triumphalism that followed the bombings and the dangerous road on which the world had embarked.

You can read the readings from Mass today here.

From northwestern Pakistan, the rains keep getting worse

The monsoon-type rains are continuing in Pakistan, where the government aid agency says 12 million people have been affected, but expects that number could rise to half a million.

BBC News quotes Gen. Nadeem Ahmed of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority as saying, “This will be the biggest disaster in the history of Pakistan.”

On the blog for Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and development agency, staffers talk about the need for clean water, especially for drinking. Their headline: “In Pakistan, Water Everywhere — and Not a Drop to Drink.”

“We have to drink water from the river but it is so dirty. But we have no other options because the floodwaters damaged our water source and washed away our pipes,” the CRS blog reports, quoting a man in the northern town of Besham whose home and land were swept away. “My family is getting sick. Today, I took my 15-month-old son to the hospital because he has diarrhea and a high fever. If the water problem is not solved, I do not know what I will do.”

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