Table of Contents
This is our song
It is always interpreted with faith that every event of life is controlled by an invisible power, and we have to surrender ourselves in front of the same. My grandmother used to call it as God and my mother had also forwarded that faith into our family. This is my story, which has its deep association with the catholic faith that has been introduced by grandfather and mother into our family. The childhood of my father has passed in Israel, where my father had his deep friendship with mountains and in the afternoons when my grandmother was chanting in Mozarabic for her own, to please her god, my father came with stones in his hand from mountains. He questioned ‘Could you call your god within this stone?’. She replied that every stone is made out of that god and he is there within the stone.
However, life has so many twists and turns and no one could ever think of it. People cannot believe that there is god in the stone of the mountains, in the water, in the tree, in the air, in the songs, flowers and bees and even among man, as well. In the 40s, a war started in Israel, and over the mountains, from where my father had found the stone for prayer. In 1949, our family shifted to Iran. My grandfather had his grip on Arabic and acted as translator there. In spite of being uprooted for the war of faith, my grandmother carried on her faith of oneness of god. My mother is from a Zoroastrain family of Iran. She had lightened up her holy fire and started the prayer Ahura Mazda but she had taken the faith of the grandmother along with rituals and rosary counting, what she initiated in the family. The hope of oneness of god is still carried on by her, with her interfaith practice of rituals of her two religions.
A novel can achieve greatest acceptance when it can speak the words of the feeling of the readers. In the story of ‘This is my song’ Richard Yaxley has addressed the emotion, faith and hope of a wide spectrum of population. The author has tried three time spaces, three social ambiences and crises of three generations in a single thread of the novel and ultimately, oneness has been identified in the entire novel. This has turned this novel into a classic one, in the contemporary time of 20s of the current century. As per the viewpoint of Wright (2017), equality, oneness and hope for life are the central factor of Catholic social teaching (CST). This novel of Richard Yaxley has successfully addressed CST, which has touched the emotion of the readers. The aspect of oneness is the most prominent factor which has been sketched by the authors in the stories of Rafael Ullmann, Annie Ullmann and Joe Hawker. In spite of changing needs and time, the oneness of humanity still initiates hope in the mind of people. This factor has been highlighted in the novel ‘This is my song’. Likewise, in the short story of the first section, of this paper, I have said my own song, the song of my family. This short study has also its focus over the aspect of oneness in the level of interfaith and interracial relationships. The faith of Old Catholic Christianity of Israel has been carried on by a girl of Zoroastrain family of Iran and this has helped in the development of oneness in the interracial relationship. As per the idea of Dallara (2015), crusades have been fought to establish the superiority of a single faith which is not linked with the oneness of god. The story of Rafael Ullmann has a deep association with Jewish ideas and Nazi concentration camp. The holocaust over Jews conducted by Nazis is often analysed from religious angles which reveals that the existence of oneness of god and respect towards the faith of others has not been prioritised. However, the story of Richard Yaxley has spoken about oneness and hope which is common with my story that has been given in the first part.
CST has its vision to promote humanity and oneness, which is tagged with each and every principle. As per the idea of Kanu et al. (2019), the ninth principle of CST speaks about the principle for development of all and has its focus to develop human equality in the social level. It has been mentioned that God has no connection with competition and this idea can bring the age of humanity (McKenna, 2019). In the second principle of CST, the respect towards human life has been kept at the nucleus which helps in the development of a better society. In the story of the concentration camp, Richard Yaxley has drawn such an ambience which has no connection with humanity and second principle of CST. In my story, the war of Israel has uprooted families and has decreased the security of life and equality. Hence, both of our stories have a common interest in the ninth and second principle of CST.
However, it has been identified that the story of ‘This is my song’, is quite different than that of my story which I have said in the first part. As per the viewpoint of Sison et al. (2016), fifth CST principle has deep concern over the inclusion of poor vulnerable and marginalised community of the society. The wellbeing of these people helps in the development of solidarity and establishment of humanity in the society. The character of Mrika, has been portrayed by the author with the fifth principle of CST as she had deep compassion towards Heinrich. Heninrich was a disfigured boy (as per the author's comment) as he had a hare lip. All the boys of the society trapped him and bullied him but Marica protested and protected Heninrich which has shown her interest in the safeguarding of vulnerable to develop humanity in the community. However in my story, nothing such has been portrayed but, it had its value in the promotion of the acceptance of interracial relationship and oneness in the society which is especially supported by ninth and tenth CST.
The study of war and the ill-effect of holocaust are quite common for every age and ever country. The author has said in the story of Rafael Ullmann that the death of the president has initiated the empowerment of Fuhrer. Authors have further mentioned that Fuhrer’s birth triggers the death of a civilization. The term civilization, in this case, is synonymous to that of humanity, equality, oneness and Stewardship of humanity. In my story also, it has been noticed that the war has destroyed the childhood of my father and his friendship and relation with nature. In the story of the novel, Annie, the daughter of Rafael Ullmann, has her friendship with Goshawk, in the lonely Canadian prairie. Likewise, in my story my father has befriended the mountains and hills of Israel. He has deep attachment with the trees and stones, just like Annie of ‘This is my song’. This is another point of similarity which has brought about similarly between the two stories.
Dallara, C. (2015). Powerful resistance against a long-running personal crusade: the impact of Silvio Berlusconi on the Italian judicial system. Modern Italy, 20(1), 59-76. https://doi.org/10.1080/13532944.2014.986444
Kanu, I. A., Bazza, M. B., & Omojola, I. O. (2020). Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration and the Movement of Peoples. TOLLE LEGE: An Augustinian Journal of Philosophy and Theology, 2(1),445-448. https://acjol.org/index.php/tollelege/article/view/tlaajpt_v2n1_1
McKenna, K. E. (2019). A concise guide to Catholic social teaching. Ave Maria Press. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=3PJ6DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=catholic+social+teaching+principles&ots=QH9CsQjiHr&sig=mFw7Qww_Jmj1bSqvQh2U5R5cOpA
Sison, A. J. G., Ferrero, I., & Guitián, G. (2016). Human dignity and the dignity of work: Insights from Catholic social teaching. Business Ethics Quarterly, 26(4), 503-528. https://doi.org/10.1017/beq.2016.18
Wright, K. S. (2017). The principles of Catholic social teaching: A guide for decision making from daily clinical encounters to national policy-making. The Linacre Quarterly, 84(1), 10-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/00243639.2016.1274629
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