Notebook

The Fragility of Peace

To go on pilgrimage to the shrine of St Onuphrius in Jabłeczna on the river Bug is to enter a state of emergency. Just across the border, refugees largely from the Middle East are used as pawns in a political manoeuver. A little further along the Bug, again on the other side of the river, military exercises qualified by Reuters as ‘war games‘ run their course. One is reminded of the fragility of European peace, of the way in which innocent lives are overrun by historical processes. Over and above the necessary discourses of politics, I keep hearing the resonance of the monks’ constantly repeated invocation at the liturgy this morning: Господи помилуй, Господи помилуй, Господи помилуй! ‘Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy!’