Within the context of The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius

Standing on the rocky headland
side by side
bound by the early morning darkness
an erie pre-dawn sense
descends across the gathering.
The locals had come
to remember Anzac Day once more.
This is a place of spirit
where first Australians
and later Australians
gather to reflect
to remember and
to recall
all men and women who claimed
the right to be Australian.
The latter phrase
has a variety of meanings
depending on our place of birth:
the right to justice
the right to freedom.
A fair go for all!
Equity and respect.
A memorable day.
Memories etched in the hearts of so many.

I will never forget
my father’s last Dawn Service.
Seriously ill
he stood proud and erect,
as “The Last Post” rang out.
I looked up at his face,
ashen grey, obviously in pain.
There would never be
another Dawn Service for him.
He died two months later.

Evening news reports
of the modern era,
Drown us in a culture of war.
The fight to live
as we would will.
We seem to know
no other way but destruction
of people and place.
Life is cheap, disposable.
Respect seems lost beneath the rubble.
Peace seems an illusion.
We pray incessantly for it.
We can be ‘instruments of peace’ (St Francis)
but we have ‘to let go and let God’ (AA)
Let go of the greed, hatred, violence,
brutality, anger
War is not the reason
of human existence.


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