Most Holy Trinity and our Veterans

As we read the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we need to keep in mind the African-American and Native soldiers of World War II. We need to keep in mind the Irish soldiers of our Civil War. “Only with difficulty does one die foIrish bragader a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners/deviants Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8, Second Reading.

These soldiers went to the trenches and died. Anglo soldiers did the same, but minority soldiers of yesterday and today, go into the trenches to fight and die for people who hate them because of their ancestry, the way they dress when not in uniform, and the language they speak. Like Jesus, they fight and die for people who oppose their welfare as they fight and die, for us.

These individuals can “boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into their hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to them.”

buffalo soldiersThey speak Spanish, or a Native-American language, and some speak Arabic, or Farsi. They pray in animist traditions, or they pray to Allah. The Hebrew word for God is El, from which they derive their word for God. The Muslims venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Christ, though in a wrong way. They endure abuse from those they fight to protect. Veterans have a 41% to 61% higher risk of suicide relative to the general population.

The vast majority of homeless veterans (96%) are single males from poor, disadvantaged communities. Homeless veterans have served in World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Please click on Brownsville for link.

BrownsvilleVeterans between the ages of 18 and 30 are twice as likely as adults in the general population to be homeless. Roughly, 56% of all homeless veterans are African-American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 12.8% and 15.4% of the U.S. population respectively. About 53% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities, compared with 41%of homeless non-veteran individuals. Homeless veterans tend to experience homelessness longer than non-veterans: Veterans spend an average of nearly six years homeless, compared to four years reported among non-veterans.

VietnamThe affliction of Boot Camp taught these soldiers endurance. This endurance also taught them the meaning of proven character. These men will fight and die in the trenches for each other, and for those who do not like them.

These individuals know what it means to hope, in spite of the evidence. They went to war with the promise of good educations when they return. They return to the same homes they came from, and no education. They find their “A,” schools are not accredited in the general community. They return to the same poverty from which they came.

In the meantime, they saw things those who went to college did not see. They saw things no human being should be allowed to see. God sends us to these individuals to bring them real hope, by being the evidence. They have traumas, physical and mental. In many ways, they are no longer like us.

About 53% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities, compared with 41%of homeless non-veteran individuals.    Half suffer from mental illness; two-thirds suffer from substance abuse problems. We must bring hope, sometimes in spite of how they behave before us.

Romans 5:1 speaks of the Justification/Charity, which comes from faith. St. Paul elsewhere speaks of putting on the new person. This is the person of faith, a faith that reaches out to others in charity. Our tradition speaks of putting on habits, as in our Franciscan religious habits. Habits, originally meant clothing, that which we have. We constantly strive to develop charitable habits.

Iraq veteranCatholic tradition also has the tradition of the four causes, Formal/Torah, Efficient/Holy Spirit, material/us, and Final/God. Romans 5:1 continues, “The Peace we have to God, through Jesus Christ… Our faith is a faith that always reaches to God, through the Eucharist, where we relive the Abrahamic faith of wondering through the desert, the Mosaic faith of wondering through the same desert, fleeing from oppressive employers, state sponsored employers, with their wars and violence.

Through the Divine Dance of communion with God, we reach out to others, constantly striving to create one community in harmony with each other, creating a concord pleasing to God. Do we do this, or do we look at those who sacrificed themselves, and say, “They brought it upon themselves?”


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