Thursday, June 14, 2007

Words to live by?

Better rashness than inertia; better a mistake than hesitation.

During the 1930s, Ludwig Beck, German general and eventual chief of the General Staff, wrote in one of the German army training manuals the above quote. The quote was the product of many years of Prussian and then German military experience. The sad part was that General Beck got involved in the July 20, 1944 coup attempt and displayed both inertia and hesitation.

While Count von Stauffenberg flew back to Berlin after having planted a bomb to blow up Hitler, the conspirators at Army Headquarters were fumbling around while valuable time slipped away (Hitler survived the bomb, as we all know). Realizing that Hitler was still alive, one of the generals saw the writing on the wall and arrested Beck and his fellows and Beck was ordered to commit suicide (in that he hesitated too and had to be helped along).

As we wait for certain events in the Church to take place, it might be wise to remember the above quote from the traditions of his countrymen...

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