Today is a hard day for Marion Barry, and for his city.
This morning I wrote a letter to Mr. Barry.
Click HERE if you would like to read it.
God is good to me.
I say this not just because the Geogetown Hoyas are 5-0, having trounced the Mount last night, even more thoroughly than they did a year ago.
I say it not just because He makes the sun rise in the morning and the moon at night.
I say it not just because maybe some day I will be able to go to jail for refusing to let two grooms use our church hall for their “reception.”
No. The reason I praise God is that He has brought together two events in my life in such a way that I could never have asked for something so wonderful.
For me, there are two kinds of days on the calendar. There is December 8, and then there are all the other days.
December 8 is the day when the Garden of Eden was restored to the earth, the day when the flower of mankind bloomed again.
I am the happy slave of the Lady conceived on December 8.
For me, the days leading up to December 8 are special holy days of prayer and closeness to the Immaculata.
It just so happens that during the Immaculate Conception Novena this year, Archbishop Wuerl is going to come to my church and renew my consecration as a priest, when he installs me as the parish pastor this Sunday.
I am unworthy of such good timing–to be able to give myself again to the priesthood during the days when I first gave myself to the Blessed Mother as a slave.
May our Lady make good use of me. She is a gentle mistress.
I think the last time I was actually inside the District Building was when John A. Wilson was still very much alive. My dad occasionally had business in there, and I entered those solemn halls with him a few times.
In other words: I was a youth the last time I was in there. There were no blogs then, and only madmen would have proposed that a man could marry a man, or a woman a woman. Homosexuals had no designs on the “right to marry.”
I went to give moral support to Bishop Holley, the representative of the Archdiocese. (He is one of Archbishop Wuerl’s assistant bishops.)
I was also glad to shake the hand of Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church–the most prominent opponent of the City Council’s same-sex folly. I assured him of my prayers and support.
Anyway, I have been wracking my brains, trying to figure it all out. I have a few things to say, but…
I am behind, my dear readers!
I have other things I have to tell you first.
Then I will come back and explain the pain in my heart after listening to two hours of thoughtful testimony in Room 500 of 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
(The pain will probably only get worse after kickoff tonight…)
Firefighters doused the burning building with their hoses for days.
They sprayed so much water that it flooded the subway station below.
The earth underneath one of the railroad beds collapsed, and a train sank five feet into the hole. Thank God, not a soul on the train was injured.
It was July 14, 11:50 p.m.
At 12:02 a.m. on July 20, the subway began operating through the Astor Place station again. Everything had been completely repaired in five days and twelve minutes.
It was a miracle of decisiveness, engineering efficiency, and wholesome pride.
I thought of this when the following happened yesterday:
The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority Board, chaired by D.C. Councilman Jim Graham, voted 4 to 1 to renew the contract of Metro chief John Catoe.
At that very moment, FBI agents were in the office of Councilman Graham’s chief of staff Ted Loza, collecting evidence for a bribery case against him.
The day before, Graham had said that Metro has been subject to demonic attack this year.
“We’re having the heavens open, and all manner of demons have been unleashed.”
He really did say this. Councilman Graham said it when he was asked by a reporter whether or not Catoe should have to take any of the blame for the fact that Metro has become a tragic laughingstock.
Hopefully the man is aware that God and the good angels are in heaven, and the demons are in the other place.
Hopefully he knows that demons tend to focus on enticing people to commit sins, like taking bribes or attempting to “marry” someone of the same sex.
On the other hand, fatal subway crashes, endless delays, surprise station closures, and other signs of managerial incompetence are usually atributable to human error.
…For the record, my disapproval of John Catoe’s regime began two years ago, when he instituted the following public-address message in the stations:
We have a lot of escalators in our system. You’ll notice that most people stand on the right side. And while you’re riding, hold the handrail for your safety. Enjoy your trip, and thank you for riding Metro.
This is not an effective message. It is an effete message.
But Catoe did not want to insist that anyone stand to the right. He didn’t want to give an order. He thought doing so would only encourage Type-A personalities to rush through stations in a furious hurry on the left.
Call me a Type-A personality if you want–call me something worse–but I do not think “stand to the right” is a suggestion. It is like the eleventh Commandment. It is escalator Rule Number One.
1956 in New York: The I.R.T. has a subway station which has been flooded by the Fire Department, and there is a train sunk into the roadbed. Everything is fully repaired and operational five days later.
2009 in Washington: John Catoe does not want to encourage rushing. It is the deadliest, most bogged-down year in the history of Metro. The WMATA Board renews his contract and gives him a standing ovation.
Yes, we won.
But I rest my case about #17. (Zero t.d.’s)…
Long-term readers will remember that, one year ago, Archbishop Wuerl insisted that we priests make certain points in our Sunday homily. He did it because prominent Catholic politicians had misrepresented the teaching of the Church.
Faithful readers also may recall that P&BD recently published a Q&A about “same-sex marriage.”
It appears that the D.C. City Council will soon act on this matter.
Here is your humble servant’s homily for today…
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me.” (Mark 9:37)
The Lord Jesus taught us that we must become like little children. We must depend on Him for everything, like a little child depends on his mother and father.
Perhaps you recall: The transformation of the capering Prince Hal into the formidable King Henry V is the new “defining motif” of this humble weblog. (Scroll down if you click the link.)
This same tranformation, however, broke the spirit of Prince Hal’s fellow-caperer, Sir John Falstaff. After the King broke off their friendship, Fallstaff’s dissolute life finally caught up with him, and he died.
In Henry V, when Falstaff’s friend Bardolph hears that the jolly knight is dead, he declares:
Would I were with him, wheresome’er he is, either in
heaven or in hell! (Act II, Scene 3)
As the statement of a Christian, this sentence makes no sense. In hell, it is impossible to enjoy each other’s company. But as the lament of a friend, it is heartbreakingly beautiful.
…John Wilson was a member of the D.C. City Council when I was in high-school. When I was in college, he became the chairman.
The question under discussion was: Should the District of Columbia recognize the “marriages” of a man with a man and a woman with a woman performed in states that permit this nonsense?
Only one man refused to jump on the “gay rights” bandwagon: Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry.
…Things are not looking good for no-defense Dirk and the Mavs. The Thuggets are dominating them…
…Recently I received this charming note from one of our young people, and I wanted to share it with you:
Dear Father White,
I loved the retreat. You helped out in so many different ways. I learned so much that I can’t remember it all.
…This morning, the sports world is abuzz with the news that Brett Favre just might come out of retirement (again) to play for the Minnesota Vikings!
It is pretty clear that the man is petty. He would like to stick it in the Green Bay Packers’ eye. That would be the one motivator for his return to the rigors of professional football.
Let’s take a step back from this.
Please do not moralize at me over football. Football is not a religion that requires ritual purity. Football is a game.
When the Lord said, “Forgive your enemies,” He was not talking about during a football game. Games are FOR vendettas. Games are for score-settling. You are supposed to want to kick your opponents butt, and it makes it more fun when it is personal.
This is my humble sports-blogger position: There is only one thing that would keep me from mocking Brett Favre for coming back from retirement yet again. That would be if he came back to settle the score with the Packers. (Who never did him any real wrong, by the way.) The pettiness and bitterness of sports is what makes them fun. Save the moralizing for serious things.
…Circumstances have arisen which have moved me to prepare a brief synthesis of facts regarding marriage. Hopefully this synthesis will serve to put at rest the minds of well-meaning people who do not want to be on the wrong side of the ‘struggle for civil rights.’
Barring any technical difficulties, I will publish the little vademecum in a few hours…