All of us have three persons that we can consider our fathers: our birth father, those who have helped us in our mental development and God our heavenly father. The Catholic Times Weekly columnist in his column on unification of the country gives his readers what he has learned from an Irish priest on the unification of Korea.
the priest from an early age and learned many difficult teachings from
him."Ireland was a country that suffered like Korea, went through
division and civil war. Live to reconcile and unify the country with the
one life that you have been given. See all of life with conservative
and progressive eyes. Looking at the past with a conservative heart and
the future with a progressive heart. You will be living with a better
future with these wings of wisdom."
At the time he
heard these words they made little impression on him. Only later did he
began to understand. The priest broke it down to a few steps. Work
hard for its realization, pay all your taxes, but live poorly. These
are the words of the medieval St. Francis of Assisi. In this way we will
have reconciliation and peace. When we have many who live in opposition
to this we will have enmity and conflict. Few are those who will walk
The Irish have a proverb: the 'apple tree
grows even during the winter months. We have to undergo trials to find
freedom. We need to overcome defeatism if we are to bring about a
different history. This is the Catholic spirituality of Ireland. Some
see the difficulties on the road and avoid it while the Irish see the
problem and make light of it and go ahead and dream and work to
actualize the dream.
For a thousand years they were
under England's oppression and contempt. With the break from Catholicism
at the time of Henry VIII and the beginning of Anglicanism the Irish
had another hardship to deal with which deepened their faith. After civil
war and the attaining of freedom Eamon de Valera as president ,
according to our columnist, devoted his efforts not primarily to
unreasonable economic development but to traditional Catholic and human
values unifying the country.
If he worked
primarily for economic development instead there would have been
divisions and conflict. Religion and art helped to unify the country. If
Korea had taken this path we would not have the class and regional
divisions we experience but rather a country unified and living in harmony.
grew slowly economically and is one of the healthiest and
harmonious countries in the world. Korea grew economically too quickly,
and suffers from the aftereffects of this growth. Before we work for
the unification of the North and South we need to work for the unification of the South. We need to remember the advice of St.Francis, peace does not come automatically but with efforts, personal sacrifice