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opinion/commentary View Comments

Back From Iraq
By B.B.
Source: St. Anthony Messenger
Published: Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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At our Thanksgiving dinners, sometimes as part of the grace before the meal, we each say what we are especially thankful for right now. This year I will say I am thankful for the removal of combat troops from Iraq.

Yes, we all know it’s not “Mission Accomplished,” and we will never know the jubilation of V-E or V-J Day. Changing the program from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn” does not mean Iraq is militarily secure or its government is democratic. But it is a milestone, as President Barack Obama said in his August 31 speech from the Oval Office, only the second time in his presidency he has used that prestigious venue.

About 50,000 Americans remain in the country in an advisory capacity. What that means in a country that six months after its national elections had yet to form a government, I can’t predict. But I do know two things: Fewer Americans will die in Iraq, and Obama kept a key campaign...

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Paul Miki and Companions: Nagasaki, Japan, is familiar to Americans as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped, immediately killing over 37,000 people. Three and a half centuries before, 26 martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests, brothers and laymen, Franciscans, Jesuits and members of the Secular Franciscan Order; there were catechists, doctors, simple artisans and servants, old men and innocent children—all united in a common faith and love for Jesus and his Church. 
<p>Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan, has become the best known among the martyrs of Japan. While hanging upon a cross, Paul Miki preached to the people gathered for the execution: “The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” </p><p>When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862.</p> American Catholic Blog By way of analogy, we are taught that we all have the same sun shining on us and we all have the same rain falling on us. It is how we deal with sun and rain, how we deal with the happy and the not-so-happy things of life that causes our interior weather. Basically, we do it to ourselves.

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