With The Old Breed:
Love of Catholicism
My Dad is reading the book With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge. It is a story about a soldier who fought in the Pacific during WWII. It is a book that is unique in it’s genre of war biographies because it is the story of a soldier’s life – and you don’t have to be a soldier to read it. It is filled with story of Sledge’s life, and not tactical terms and is composed of the memories that he kept tucked away in his pocket bible during combat.
The Ultimate Mission – and Human Nature
A part of the book that was shared with me was the story of Sledge’s company being given the order to make it across an airfield. The Japanese knew of this maneuver and had positioned themselves so that they could not only have ground soldiers fighting the Americans, but also bombers in the air as well.
While the company was trying to run across the airfield to the destination of a city that they could take cover in, the Japanese would bomb the airfield, creating craters in the ground all around the Americans. The craters were considered “safe zones” because the crater probably wouldn’t be the location another bomb would be dropped.
Human nature’s tendency is to find safety, take cover, stay alive! And these craters were safe-houses in the midst of absolute chaos. Yet their orders were to get across the airfield. These soldiers were going against human nature and running in the open across an airfield that was being attacked viciously.
Yet they made it across the airfield, and ultimately, American victory.
What does this have to do with Catholicism?
Our goal in life is to get to the other side of the airfield – life – with the city of refuge – Heaven – as our main goal. In our life as Catholics, there will be craters – places of “safety” along the way where we can hide.
But these craters are not our destination, and they only deter us from getting to our ultimate goal. Some are content to stay in their crater of safety – but those who are “The Old Breed” realize their destination of Heaven and reject craters of worldly safety and settling for something easier.
A question to ponder: Are you crossing the airfield with the destination of the refuge city, or are you hiding in the supposed safety of a crater?
Do you have a story to share about hiding in a crater or the journey across the airfield? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks to all and God Bless,