Letter from Trappist nuns in Syria: Fear and helplessness at impending U.S. attack

Obama frames a U.S. military intervention against Syria as America’s necessary moral response to horrible offense against human rights — the Assad regime’s purported deployment on August 21, of chemical weapons (sarin nerve gas) on innocent civilians in a suburb outside of Damascas. (Note: Whether the Assad regime is responsible for the chemical attack is very much disputed. See “Article cited by Limbaugh on Syrian chemical attack being a U.S. false flag“.)

And yet, as the pic below points out, there have been — and are — countless human rights abuses across the world more egregious than the Syrian chemical attack, but the United States does nothing. Which, of course, begs the question:

Why the selective moral outrage in the case of Syria?

What makes the Syrian chemical attack so extraordinarily evil — more evil than, say, what the psychopathic regime in North Korea do to their people — which warrants the United States starting yet another war?

selective outrage

Has it ever occurred to Obama, Kerry, the senators who voted yesterday to authorize Obama’s war in Syria, that our “humanitarian intervention” will itself be the cause of deaths, pain, suffering, and hardships for the beleaguered Syrian people? That our “intervention” in the name of human rights itself violates the human rights and dignity of the Syrian people?

Trappists” is the common name of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a Roman Catholic religious order of cloistered contemplative monks and nuns who follow the Rule of St. Benedict.

In March 2005, a small group of Trappist nuns from Tuscany settled in Aleppo, Syria, to found a new monastery serving isolated Christian communities in a land that’s predominantly Muslim but which is home to the most ancient of Christian traditions.

Below is a translation of a letter written on August 29 by the Trappist nuns, as they — and the people of Syria — await Obama’s decision on bombing Syria. The letter is seeringly truthful and heartbreaking.

Please get this letter to as many people as possible via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.

~Eowyn

Trappist nuns

A letter from Trappist nuns in Syria: “Blood fills our streets, our eyes, our hearts”

Today we have no words, except those of the Psalms that the liturgical prayer puts onto our lips in these days:

Rebuke the Beast of the Reeds, that herd of bulls, that people of calves…oh God, scatter the people who delight in war…Yahweh has leaned down from the heights of his sanctuary, has looked down from heaven to earth to listen to the sighing of the captive, and set free those condemned to death…Listen, God, to my voice as I plead, protect my life from fear of the enemy; hide me from the league of the wicked, from the gang of evil-doers. They sharpen their tongues like a sword, aim their arrow of poisonous abuse…They support each other in their evil designs, they discuss how to lay their snares. “Who will see us?” they say. He will do that, he who penetrates human nature to its depths, the depths of the heart…Break into song for my God, to the tambourine, sing in honor of the Lord, to the cymbal, let psalm and canticle mingle for him, extol his name, invoke it…For the Lord is a God who breaks battle-lines! … Lord, you are great, you are glorious, wonderfully strong, unconquerable.

We look at the people around us, our day workers who are all here as if suspended, stunned: “They’ve decided to attack us.” Today we went to Tartous…we felt the anger, the helplessness, the inability to formulate a sense to all this: the people trying their best to work and to live normally. You see the farmers watering their land, parents buying notebooks for the schools that are about to begin, unknowing children asking for a toy or an ice cream…you see the poor, so many of them, trying to scrape together a few coins. The streets are full of the “inner” refugees of Syria, who have come from all over to the only area left that is still relatively liveable…. You see the beauty of these hills, the smile on people’s faces, the good-natured gaze of a boy who is about to join the army and gives us the two or three peanuts he has in his pocket as a token of “togetherness”…. And then you remember that they have decided to bomb us tomorrow. … Just like that. Because “it’s time to do something,” as it is worded in the statements of the important men, who will be sipping their tea tomorrow as they watch TV to see how effective their humanitarian intervention will be….

Will they make us breathe the toxic gases of the depots they hit, tomorrow, so as to punish us for the gases we have already breathed in?

The people are straining their eyes and ears in front of the television: all they’re waiting for is a word from Obama!

A word from Obama? Will the Nobel Peace Prize winner drop his sentence of war onto us? Despite all justice, all common sense, all mercy, all humility, all wisdom?

The Pope has spoken up, patriarchs and bishops have spoken up, numberless witnesses have spoken up, analysts and people of experience have spoken up, even the opponents of the regime have spoken up…. Yet here we all are, waiting for just one word from the great Obama? And if it weren’t him, it would be someone else. It isn’t he who is “the great one,” it is the Evil One who these days is really acting up.

The problem is that it has become too easy to pass lies off as noble gestures, to pass ruthless self-interest off as a search for justice, to pass the need to appear [strong] and to wield power off as a “moral responsibility not to look away…”

And despite all our globalizations and sources of information, it seems nothing can be verified. It seems that there is no such thing as a minimal scrap of truth … That is, they don’t want there to be any truth; while actually a truth does exist, and anyone honest would be able to find it, if they truly sought it out together, if they weren’t prevented by those who are in the service of other interests.

There is something wrong, and it is something very serious…because the consequences will be wrought on the lives of an entire population…it is in the blood that fills our streets, our eyes, our hearts.

Yet what use are words anymore? All has been destroyed: a nation destroyed, generations of young people exterminated, children growing up wielding weapons, women winding up alone and targeted by various types of violence…families, traditions, homes, religious buildings, monuments that tell and preserve history and therefore the roots of a people…all destroyed. …

As Christians we can at least offer all this up to the mercy of God, unite it to the blood of Christ, which carries out the redemption of the world in all those who suffer.

They are trying to kill hope, but we must hold on to it with all our might.

To those who truly have a heart for Syria (for mankind, for truth…) we ask for prayer…abounding, heartfelt, courageous prayer.

The Trappist nuns from Azeir, Syria

August 29, 2013

27 responses to “Letter from Trappist nuns in Syria: Fear and helplessness at impending U.S. attack

  1. Have mercy upon us oh Lord. Hear our prayer.

  2. Heart rending! God, cover them with your feathers, protect them under the shadow of your wings. May your faithfulness be their shield and armor.

  3. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this important and heartfelt post. I will give this letter to my Catholic study group. Obama is helping the Muslim Brotherhood, there is where his interest lies. He isn’t concerned about a moral imperative. If he were, then he should stop the killing of babies in the womb, some 4,000 daily, that he promotes, as well as infanticide, killing babies after they survive an abortion. He is like King Herod – God, please help us!

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  5. Obama is only interested in seeing that moderate Arab leaders are removed in favor of his Mooooooooooooooooslim b’hood friends.

    After all, the Islamists want Israel destroyed – sooner rather than later, and any Arab leader that is not down with that has got to go.

    Just ask Mubarak and Col. Daffy.

    -Dave

  6. Pingback: Letter from Trappist nuns in Syria: Fear and helplessness at impending U.S. attack |

  7. Psalm 91 King James Version (KJV)
    1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
    3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
    4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
    5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
    6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
    7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
    9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
    10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
    11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
    12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
    13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
    14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
    15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
    16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
    COME, LORD JESUS!

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