God, Where Were You in That Moment?


Dialogue between God and the Cardinal
A few days ago, Pope Francis visited Auschwitz and Krakow, the places of genocide. There is barely anyone working for a change in moral thinking like him. May his efforts continue with further deeds – deeds of the dimension necessary to overcome the current insanity. May the idea of hostility vanish from humankind once and for all.
On the Sunday after the Munich attacks, a Catholic cardinal spoke about the events of July 21st 2016. In the mass, he asked the question that moved in many, “God, where were you in that moment?” Furthermore, he spoke about the “ways of togetherness, because together we are human. This is our hope. Together, we are all human.”
God replied: Cardinal, I thank you for encouraging hope on my behalf in these difficult times and that you remember those who have fallen victim to this bloodshed. You ask where I was in this moment. Mankind has always posed this question after something terrible has happened. For centuries I have been called upon after people perpetrated atrocities such as these. And for centuries I have given the same response: I am not outside of you. I am within you and I have given you the gospel of love so that you can manifest it on Earth. I have given you everything necessary for it – love, compassion, ethics, conscience, intelligence. You carry inside of yourselves everything that you need to establish a humane world. You however have not accepted it. Your bible reads, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” I have always been with you. You however have seldom been at home.
The cardinal replied: Lord, don’t you see that while we proclaim the gospel every Sunday, the powers that be aren’t willing to follow it?
Yes, I see that. Do you follow the gospel yourselves? Are you not also part of these powers? Why have you confined the gospel to the churches instead of bringing it into your politics, your economics, your judicial systems? Why have you been silent about all the horrors over the centuries – colonialism, genocide, the persecution of the Jews, World Wars, nuclear arms, the Vietnam war, the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, the siege of Gaza, the treatment of refugees? Why haven’t you provided shelter and food to the fleeing, to those who are persecuted and starving, to the children in war areas? With all your influence and resources could you not have done so?
That is just naive. Even if we had wanted to, we couldn’t have done it, living as we do in a globalized system of economics and politics, military and violence.
It’s not just that you live in this system. You support it indirectly through your submissiveness – through your silence and your fear.
Cardinal: What do mean by “submissiveness”?
God: I refer to what you call “reason,” “compromise” or “diplomacy.” I refer to the entire cocoon of compromises and half measures in which you have wrapped yourself.
Cardinal: What could we have done differently? I am just a priest and can’t change the whole world. What are we supposed to do in the face of this system’s overwhelming might?
God: Did you forget that this system consists of real people and that all of them came to this world as small children, just as you did? Christ lies latently within every person. Awaken to your own Christ nature and you will thereby awaken it in the others. Karl Marx had the powerful realization that the system that steers people like an alien force. Now you must discover, in a similarly powerful way, the human being behind the system. When you talk to people, people will respond.
Cardinal: But it is precisely these people that scarcely obey Your word and follow instead the laws of the system they live in. Could you not help us to change the system?
God: Yes, I can, but only in alliance with you. I can do nothing without the resurrection of humanity. People must once again allow the omnipotence received through Me to fully work through them. You could – if you wanted – have a far greater impact than you believe. By combining your forces, you could establish a global power stronger than all violence. You are right when you say that you cannot do it alone. You all face a new decision. If you decide to live in a sacred way, many will join you. Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
So, what are we supposed to do?
God: Leave the system and build a different one. To whom did you pledge allegiance – to the system that is causing all these wars, to the governments, banks and corporations that have forced you into the economics of war? Rethink your loyalties, give up your ‘neutrality’, take a stand for those that are persecuted and murdered. Reach out in solidarity to all peace workers and human rights activists that give their all, but are too few to end worldwide injustice. Connect with Amnesty International, Greenpeace and all other global movements working for a peaceful world – even if they do not belong to your church; I have no denomination. Initiate a cross-party movement in the spirit of the original gospel and now reach out to the political prisoners in Turkey.
Our statutes don’t allow such political interventions.
God: Well, then change your statues.
Cardinal: I understand your call. But could you not have intervened when the disaster occurred?
God: Did you really understand my call? If so, follow it. Once there is collaboration with you and others I will allow no killings. I can only intervene if you open the channel and let me in. I operate through you fully when you step out of the cage of your ego – then I will fit into you. This is the decision that is required from every one of you.
You ask where I was in this difficult moment? I ask you in return: where were you – the church, the governments? Where are you when terrorism is born in the places of misery, of war, of abandoned children? How is it that you keep silent about the supply of armaments to war areas? That you keep silent as the poor are stripped of their lands by the rich? Where are you when armies attack indigenous peoples resisting injustice? Where are you when you hear of the plight of the refugees in dinghies? Where were you all when the German government handed the responsibility for these refugees to a despotic regime?
Cardinal: We cannot do all that is needed. The power of our current political reality is stronger than we are.
God: Yes – and it is precisely this current reality which is about to repeat its atrocities. Look at the nearly 20,000 people that have been imprisoned in Turkey after the coup d’etat. You know what happens in such prisons, don’t you? Or do you prefer not to know it because it is too terrible; because nobody can bear torture? Please help these people; they are as human as you are! Create a global movement for the safety of the prisoners.
Cardinal: But these people are terrorists. They killed many people in their attempted coup.
God: Oh yeah – terrorists! You are doing strange things with this term. Everyone is speaking about terrorists, but I am sure you know that much greater terror is caused by your own financial institutions, corporations and governments. Look to the slums of Rio that were demolished for the Olympics. You have seen through your news media what is happening in the world. You have seen how African villages are deprived of their water so that plantations can be irrigated. Did you not close your eyes while millions were tormented, tortured and killed? I told you, two thousand years ago, through one of my prophets, “Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me.” Where was your assistance? You have heard what I told you, “Thou shalt not kill.” But you have allowed the killing of countless millions in the name of your religions and corporations. Cardinal, you are a human being, born from my spirit and my heart – why did you keep silent and allow all of this? Why didn’t you exercise charity and empathy when bombs were dropped on refugees? Bombs instead of food! Why did you content yourself with mere slogans, appeals for peace and some donations?
And you ask, “God, where were you in this moment?” May I return the question, cardinal? Where were you? Where were you all in these moments, over these years and centuries? You believe that I abandoned you in these difficult times? No, my cardinal, it was you who left me.
Cardinal: Yes, Holy spirit, I understand your appeal. However, the world is heading towards a catastrophe. We now need Your voice, Your protection, Your grace and forgiveness.
God: I repeat, I am not above you, but within you. If you are with ME, you will find yourself under My protection. If you are with Me, there will be no catastrophe; I always want life, not downfall. I want love, not war. It is your choice as to which system you serve – the system of the war society or the system of life. In your churches, you speak of brotherliness and compassion. Do you think only of the victims or do you also include the perpetrators, the mass shooters and suicide bombers, the young terrorists, the fighters of the “Islamic State”? Did you include all of them into your humaneness? Do you really believe that violence can be stopped through counter-violence, through the police and military? You need to address the root causes, not fight the symptoms. The young men carrying out these atrocities were all children who needed love and care. No single child that has been lovingly accompanied can later turn into a murderer. Don’t you know how many terrorists have emerged from your ranks, from your society? Don’t you know that mass killings and terror result from misery and disappointment in love? The attacker of Ansbach – did he not witness the violent death of his young wife and their children in the bombing of the Syrian war? Do you not you know what kind of suffering these young people had to experience before they became perpetrators themselves? Do you know what happens in young people when they have no one to believe in?
The cardinal did know. Suddenly, he remembered what he had originally believed and loved. He issued a pastoral letter and spoke with Pope Francis, the good man in Rome. They understood that they needed to set their lives and the whole of human culture on new foundations. As they had all preached the gospel they had a sense what kind of foundations these would be. It was a matter of the deepest healing of love, including erotic love. Many people joined them. New impulses, new actions, new information circulated through media outlets worldwide. In this way the spirit of a new humaneness grew within the villages and cities of the world. This spirit extended to relations with the animal kingdom as people recognized that animals also belong among “the least of these brothers and sisters,” that they too are God’s creatures. They put an end to the bloody business of vivisection and slaughter houses. They understood the one sacred life that is the same in all beings. Thus began a new chapter on Earth: Nova Ecclesia, Terra Nova.
In the name of love and of all beings!

Dr. Dieter Duhm is a psychoanalyst,art historian, prolific author and one of the leading figures in the 1968 Students Movement in Germany. He is a visionary and Head of the Department for Art and Healing in Tamera.


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