Sin is for one man to walk brutally over the life of another and be quite oblivious of the wounds he has left behind.

Shusaku Endo, in Silence

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These are the words thought by a Catholic priest held by his Japanese captors in Silence written by Shusaka Endo.

Imagine if we took heed of these words.  Imagine if we prayed that we may never walk over another person, discount them, trivialize their very existence.  Imagine if it was our nation’s central concern, if all policy was geared to that one thought – that we would not walk over another’s life and callously disregard the wounds we have caused.

Imagine if that one thought took control of our culture.  Would there be abortion? Unwanted children?  Animals brutalized? Divorce?  The need for drug use? Suicide?  Loneliness?  Unhappiness?

Right after Endo writes these words to express the thoughts of his captured priest, he writes this – again the thoughts that enter the priest’s mind as a companion to what entered above:

And then for the first time a real prayer arose in his heart. 

At its root, need life be any more complicated than this?  Forget what others do to us, how are we positioned to live? With the priest’s recognition or not?  Is that not ground zero for us?  For you?  For me?

Yes, and then real prayer arises in one’s heart.