Before we leave today behind, we should mention that this September 1st marks the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland in 1939, marking the anniversary of the beginning – insofar as such may be discerned – of the cataclysm we now know as World War II, a far greater hecatomb than the First, even if they were not all that much different in their span of time. Russia would also invade the beleaguered nation two weeks later, on September 17th, in accord with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the Soviets and the Nazis, signed a few weeks previously on August 23rd.
Poland would be under the boot-heels of the Nazis and Communists until the fall of Germany in 1945 – well after the Russians had switched sides. But the Communists stayed; that is, until the fall of Communism in 1989, largely under the spiritual and doctrinal influence of the first Polish Pope, Saint John Paul II, and his political allies, Reagan and Thatcher.
God writes straight with crooked lines, goes the proverb; or, in a more theological light, God brings good out of evil – and there was a lot of satanic evil under the combined forces of German and Soviet socialism. But, we may add, regardless of how much evil, God always brings a lot more good, more than we may think from this limited, temporal perspective. The war brought out untold numbers of saints, and we know not how man souls achieved heaven in the midst of mayhem. There is always light in everything, even if we must walk through the valley of darkness, with all its thorns and thistles, to reach it. in fact, we won’t see all the good effects of evil – if you will permit the expression – until the eschaton and the final judgement.
We may well be surprised. No, I’m sure we will be.