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Update From a Catholic Chaplain in Afghanistan

by Ian on November 18, 2010

We received this note from Chaplain Peek who is based here in Colorado Springs at Ft. Carson but was deployed to Afghanistan to replace a chaplain who was killed in the war zone:

Blessed friends,
Please forward this email on to all that may have received my original email--I do not wish or intend to leave anyone out on these updates; it is just that I do not know how to capture email addresses from each email in order to include them on the next update--and the emails keep rolling in full of prayers and support from all over.  My Soldiers and I are more grateful than words can say!

As the air turns cold and the leaves fall and the light grows shorter everyday, the Church calls us to ponder the end of time--particularly the end of our lives; not something we are too oblivious to over here on a daily and hourly basis!  All Saints Day and All Souls Day, as well as the feast of Christ the King, draw us through a reflection upon what the end of this life is all about--both in its immediate reality and all that leads up to it.  How we speak, how we think, how we relate, how we act, how we pray, how we love and how we live are all a part of the scrutiny we are invited to make in order to prepare for the new Church year, as well as the beginning of Eternity, which both begin with the coming of Christ--one publicly for all 2000 years ago, the other at the end of our life in the personal experience of the second coming of Christ.
Yet as we reflect upon these realities, those united in Christ do not contemplate them in fear or dread, but in immense wonder and thanksgiving at all that we have been granted and blessed with in this life.  Which leads us to the day at hand next week, Thanksgiving!  And boy do we have a great deal to be thankful for!  Since the beginning of October, we have continued to have an incredibly high find rate of IEDs (as opposed to strike rate), and those that have gone off have only detonated the trigger mine, and not the explosives underneath--avoiding catastrophic blows, and in most cases only inflicting broken bones in feet and legs--assuring that the injured will walk again, thank God.
However, a news media photographer covering us was severely injured, and two Afghan police officers were shot at their post in broad daylight.  This week we have news that the enemy may shift tactics from IEDs to suicide bombing, in order to counter our success.  This could bring more pain and suffering to the locals as well as to us, as they are more unpredictable and variable. Please continue to pray, not just for us, but for the local people, and for those who courageously attempt to rise up and secure their land.  May there be peace on earth this Christmas and always....

His unworthy servant and yours,
Fr. Kevin T. M. Peek

When evil days are upon us and the worker of malice gains power, we must attend to our own souls and seek to know the ways of the Lord.  In those times reverential fear and perseverance will sustain our faith, and we will find need of forbearance and self-restraint as well.  Provided that we hold fast to these virtues and look to the Lord, then wisdom, understanding, knowledge and insight will make joyous company with them. --Barnabas

Please keep these troops in your prayers and consider helping them out by purchasing items off of their military gift registries.

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