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Monday, 27 October 2008

"Ya mean like somethin' important was goin' on?"

I like to tell the story of how I once violated the teachers' rule that says never to be sarcastic with children, a 13-y-o was whining about a new priest, everything in Mass is so slow, even when he talks, it's like every, single word is, ya know.....? and she couldn't come up with the descriptor.
So with a gimlet eye, (I'm trying to use more lady like expressions, does that pass? my Mom hates it when I say "give him the skunk eye"...) I ask, dropping my "g"s like mad, for that plebeian touch, ya know?, "Oh, ya mean like somethin' important was goin' on?"
And you could practically see the light bulb go off over her head.
Yesterday, some important things went on.
You could tell.
I've experienced some very fine liturgical music lately, some of which functioned as "signal" of something else's importance, and some of which was important on its own, but more about that later.
I've experienced some very fine preaching lately, my pastor had a great homily last week in which starting from the "rendering unto" (or "giving back," I think, in the current clumsy lectionary,) he connected the various break-downs our world is suffering through to disdain for authority and truth, all flowing from a disdain for Him Who is the ultimate authority, and Truth itself.
But that isn't really what I wanted to talk about, either.
Fr Haynes at St John Cantius yesterday had what I recall was a good sermon, about the sovereignty of Christ, the respect for law, and St Thomas More and the current state of Christianity in Europe and England in particular, and the rise of Islam, and .... well, the details of it were completely driven out of my head by an incident after Mass.
A friend and I had had a number of discussion about politics recently and had decided to avoid the topic completely until after the election.
She is, like me, socially, politically, fiscally liberal-leaning, but pro-life only in principle, often not in voting. Between ESCR, death penalty, abortion, et al, she didn't think either major candidate had any valid claim on the pro-life vote.
Nothing either of us siad had any effect on the other, it was causing tension, so we just agreed to disagree, and put a nice anti-macassar and a potted flower on that elephant in the room.
Anyway, in the course of his sermon, Fr Haynes quoted a figure of deaths by abortion in the US since Roe V Wade. I don't even remember the number he quoted, except that it was smaller than the statistic I have heard bandied about, so it didn't stick in my mind. I think it was 46, or 47, but to be safe, we'll say it was 45, rather than over-estimate.
Anyway, after Mass (and that Gigout postlude made ya think, maybe something important had been going on so that now soemthing more that was also important was DEMANDED of us!) I smile and think we're going to tlak about the weather, or the Phillies or Mad Men, or something, and all she can say is, I had no idea..., and I, dumber than a bag of hair don't notice how stricken she looks, and say huh? and all she can say is 45 million, I had no idea....
And a man who in most other ways she feels would be a great president, and a party to which she has belonged for 20 years lost her right then and there.
And this is how Life will, ultimately, win.

So the only point I really want to make is, Priests, if you think what you say from the pulpit can't make a difference, is not a force for change in this Culture of Death, is a waste of time, is going to upset people needlessly, can't change a heart and a mind...
You are wrong.

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