Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


This is a picture of me preaching in chapel at the Gospel Service on Sunday. Sunday is always the highlight of my week; even in here in Iraq, I try to use it as a day of rest to the extent that I can here- I sleep in a little, and I enjoy the chance to be in worship.

I alsop want to include an extended quote from Dag Hammarskjold that speaks to me right now. I know I've been quoting him a lot, but he has a lot of good things to say. I want to include this quote in light of Jesus' words in John 14, when He says "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Hammarskjold says:

Your "personal" life cannot have a lasting intrinsic meaning. It can acquire a contingent meaning, but only by being fitted into and subordinated to something which "lasts" and has meaning in itself. Is this something what we attempt to identify when we speak of "Life?" Can your life have a meaning as a tiny fragment of "Life?"

Does Life exist? Seek and you shall find, experience Life as reality. Has "Life" a "meaning?" Experience Life as reality and the question becomes meaningless.

Seek-? Seek by daring to take the leap into unconditional obedience. Dare this when you are challenged, for only by the light of the challenge will you be able to see the crossroads and, in full awareness of your choice, turn your back upon your personal life- with no right ever to look back.

You will find that "in the pattern" you are liberated from the need to live "with the herd."

You will find that, thus subordinated, your life will receive from Life all its meaning, irrespective of the conditions given you for its realization.

You will find that the freedom of the continual farewell, the hourly self-surrender, gives your experience of reality the purity and clarity which signify- self realization.

You must find that obedience requires an act of will which must be continually reiterated, and that you will fall, if anything in your personal life is allowed to slip back into the center.

Hammarskjold doesn't explicitly mention God here, but the meaning is clear: Jesus is Life. Our lives have no meaning of their own, apart from the meaning we have derived from God. We must place Him front and center, and walk in simple obedience. That is meaning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dag Hammerskjold's Journal was his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He exemplifies the "suffering servant" of the 20th century. His Journal is really a spiritual Journal through Christ. There's no question in my mind as to his spirituality which was focused entirely on his relationship with Christ. It comes out throughout his Journal and his other writings.

We are all following the latest news and praying for a good outcome in Iraq. If everyone could read Hammerskjold with his spirituality and love of mankind perhaps we can achieve our objectives.

We miss you tremendously, our love and thoughts are with you constantly and we pray for a successful outcome.

Love, Dad

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris - We are all praying for you and your family. I really have enjoyed your blog and I copy it and take it to my folks. They ask about you often and really enjoy reading your comments. Peace be with you.... Mary Dalbey

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your last few post remind me of the motto:

No Jesus - No Peace
Know Jesus - Know Peace.

Your post are beautiful and inspiring . Your Dad has been profoundly influenced by Hammerskjold and often quotes him . It's heartwarming to me that the two of you ,while so very different , take comfort in his writings. It's clearly one of many things Stef has shared with you that has help to mold you into such a remarkable man.

I'm no where deep as the two of you, however I have been very moved by your insight and thank you for sharing.


7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this quote. Two parts of it hit me profoundly today. I will probably be quoting it shortly in my blog, and will be looking to see where I can get hold of Hammerskjold's writings.

Take care...

11:33 PM  

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