Humane Religion Magazine
May - June 1996 IssueBOOK REVIEW
KARA, THE LONELY FALCON
"The story [of Kara] recounts a series of events so strange...we must try, in our inadequate manner, to describe and interpret the thoughts and feelings of this creature who, perhaps, is more noble than many beings who are called human."
Thus begins the tale of a nonviolent bird of prey as told by Father Joseph F. Girzone, a Roman Catholic Priest. The impact of this book would be great regardless of who wrote it. But had it been written by someone else, the profound nature of Kara's odyssey would be lessened. As a priest, Father Girzone is aware that in a millennial world both humans and nonhumans will necessarily manifest the nonviolent nature with which they were endowed by their Creator.
But a human race that has not yet renounced its own violence finds it almost impossible to comprehend a world in which other creatures will cease to be predators. It is not an issue that can be dealt with directly, so the story of Kara is presented as a work of "fiction." As such, it speaks to a level of human understanding which at this time can be reached only by symbol and story: the elements of which myths are made.
KARA traces the life of a young falcon who, in a moment of compassion for a dove he is about to devour, resolves never again to kill for his food. This decision provokes a chain of events that changes the lives of myriad other creatures who share the woods with Kara. As their fear of this predatory bird is overcome, love and mutual service become the hallmark of their relationships with each other.
KARA is not primarily a children's book, although they, like their adult counterparts, will understand it according to their own development. There are important truths about human choices to be inferred from this book but, more importantly, it describes the spiritual evolution of nonhuman creatures.
There are important truths about human choices to be inferred from this book
In the kind of Peaceable Kingdom described by the Latter Prophets, all sentient beings will have regained the nonviolent nature of their original creation. Then, God's kingdom be will re-established on earth. It will reflect the kind of world-order invoked in the prayer that Jesus taught his followers; a prayer which asks that the God's kingdom of love and compassion be present "on earth, as it is in heaven."
KARA is available from bookstores. Also available is Father Girzone's best-selling book JOSHUA, the modern-day story of a carpenter whose life experiences are similar to events in the life of Jesus, as they are reported in the Gospels. #