I've come to believe that the only thing worse than a true perpetrator of evil is the one who shamelessly exploits the evil for her own good. Hence my war against the modern media and its almost Pavlovian tendency to not cover or care about true suffering and misery and death unless it can be shoved into the press's pet agenda templates.
The same goes here. This is actually a war, call it what we will. Putin has thrown the dice and we'll see what happens. Whether he succeeds - increasingly unlikely - or doesn't, many innocent people will have to die before we know. Hence the reason why war should always be dead last in the options category. That goes for sane people, much less followers of Christ.
So today and this week, heading into Lent, we should bend our prayers and our thoughts to the Ukraine. Pray for peace. Pray that something will stop the madness. Pray for those trying to stop it, including our president and leaders, NATO, Pope Francis, or what have you.
Don't be quick to condemn, for this isn't an easy Group A versus Group B. This is a long time coming, and contrary to our media's slick 'you versus them' narratives, those who are supporting Putin are not simply Hitler worshipers worshipping the first thing they can find. That doesn't mean they're right. Nor does it mean we can't call them out. But logs and splinters as they say.
Because in our neck of the woods, there are clearly those who appear to see this as just another weapon in their own partisan arsenals. Far more important than peace or the protection of the innocent is making sure my side gets off the blame hook, and your side is Satan. If it was confined to a few Catholic bloggers, it wouldn't be more than a shame. Unfortunately, not a few prominent individuals and institutions seem just as concerned about covering their own side's tails or biting the other side's tails.
This isn't to say we can't try to get our heads around what happened. Legitimate questions deserve legitimate answers. Likewise, credit and blame where due. I, for one, don't wish to engage in a war in Europe - not with three combat aged sons (who alone can be drafted, feminism hedging inequality when needed). And I've been pleasantly surprised with President Biden's resolve in this. I think Putin confused Obama's tomfoolery and ineptitude with Biden who, for all he's bathed in the ludicrous left, was still born out of a different mold.
So right now, keep it all in our prayers. Pray for peace. Pray that the Lord can intervene and soften hearts and convert minds. Pray that Putin be changed and softened by the Holy Spirit. Pray for those who see in this only an opportunity to score points for their own particular agendas. And pray for those standing up to the aggression and courageously risking their own lives to protect the innocent, their home, and stop this war before it becomes far, far worse.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God Matthew 5:9