After hearing about the terrorist attack in France on November 13, all I could think about was what Pope Francis said about our piecemeal World War III.
It was September 13, 2014, and he said this while touring a war memorial in Italy where 100,000 World War I soldiers are buried.
“Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” he said. “War is madness…Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction.”
Today, the world weeps for France.
Gen-Xers remember with fondness the educational filmstrips of our school years. We were so thrilled when the classroom lights dimmed and the librarian, with her polyester pantsuits and air of intrigue, appeared with a 16mm projector atop a clanky cart.
Click-click, loop-loop. Tiny specks of dust in the rays of light beaming from the lens.
I could have stayed in that classroom forever, for it was how I learned. And it was how I traveled far and wide — to Paris via The Red Balloon.
The 1956 film was shown frequently to American school kids throughout the 1960s and 70s. It was about a little boy, Pascal, who befriended a big, round red balloon that had a mind of its own. Bullies ended up destroying it with slingshots, but in the end, other balloons in Paris rescue Pascal and carry him over the city.
When I was a kid, getting a sign taped to my back that said “Kick Me,” was one of my biggest concerns. These days, far graver things worry our kids. Like getting gunned down at a concert or stadium or cafe or God forbid, in a classroom.
May our prayers lift Paris. May hope and faith carry all who suffer in this time of sorrow.