I am wearing black clothes this week.
Of course, I wear black clothes every week. But this week I am in mourning for three particular reasons.
First and foremost, I am in morning because the pro-life cause would seem to have suffered a serious set-back. The right to life of the innocent unborn, who are killed by the thousands every day, is the most pressing issue of our time. Yet the overwhelming majority of the American electorate seems to have ignored this matter of fundamental justice. May it please God to bring good out of this somehow. (I am NOT in black because the President-Elect IS black. That has nothing to do with it.)
Secondly, on a lighter note: I am in black because the Redskins were “bruised burgundy” on Monday.
And thirdly because the Wizards managed to blow a big lead over the Bucks last night. Now the Character-Commitment-Connection team is 0-3.
Seriously, though: We priests wear black as a sign that our life is “hidden in Christ with God.” Our business is not here. We deal with the invisible realities of the world to come, God’s will and the salvation of souls. We are dead to this world.
This does not mean, however, that we hate the world. Quite the contrary. Loving God first allows us to love the world precisely as it ought to be loved–no more, no less.
St. Therese of Liseux expressed it beautifully in her autobiography. She was traveling through Italy on pilgrimage to Rome, not long before she was to enter the convent. She loved seeing everything she saw on her tour. “What an interesting study the world is when one is ready to leave it!”
4 thoughts on “Black Clothes”
I’ll remember this as your Johnny Cash post.
Why is the message lost on 53% of the electorate? What needs to be done to convince people that being unborn does not make for an unhuman? Given the results of the election, it seems to me that the only “values” issue that the Right continues to prevail with is that homosexuals should not marry. Support for abortion rights and stem-cell research continues to grow and now another state sanctions assisted suicide.
Catholics I know and care for voted for Barack Obama despite every effort by many of our priests and bishops to steer them otherwise. And their consciences will be troubled if the president-elect fulfills his vow to pass a Freedom of Choice Act. (Let me not fail to mention Catholics that I know and care for who voted for John McCain despite his support – however agonized – for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.) FWIW, The Pro Life (as in anti-abortion, anti-embryonic-stem-cell-research, though not anti-death-penalty) candidate on the ballot in Virginia and Maryland was Chuck Baldwin, Constitution Party candidate (listed as an Independent Green in Virginia).
How have eight years of the most anti-abortion presidency furthered the cause of life? Is it time to rethink the political strategy of a culture war that has been ineffective in promoting the sanctity of life? Not the end-result, of course. Just the way we go about getting there. Because this way isn’t working.
Final thought: you know what really didn’t work? The demonization of Barack Obama. I still saw e-mails (on Wednesday, no less) with the Antichrist-well-maybe-not-Antichrist-but-Antichrist-like argument. Made my blood boil. A lot of people are misguided, misinformed, struggle with the issue, practice cognitive dissonance. And some people actually aim to deceive. And some people are just plain wrong on the issue of life. But that doesn’t make them the Antichrist or channelers of the spirit of the Antichrist. It means they are sinners (just like every single last one of us) for whom we should pray and whom we should challenge by intellectual arguments and spiritual example. And hopefully find a way to promote the cause of life that resonates in our troubled times.
Couldn’t help myself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfI9B8e9tW4.
I think that Juan A. and Father Mark are two of the most intelligent people out there and between the two, could solve a majority of the worlds issues.
Danielle, I think you are right. If being president was more important than being a priest, I’d suggest a new ticket for the next campaign – Fr. White and Juan A. BUT, since being a priest is much more important than being president, I’ll just pray that many people benefit from all the words of wisdom through this blog!