Wednesday night, the eucharistic celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, after Communion and the collect...our pastor sprang an impromptu announcement and prayer about a local accident that happened very early in that day. At our mission church, a smallish crowd of adorers were in the midst of their procession celebrating OLOG at the 5am hour or thereabouts. In the foggy Central Valley at 5am it's pitch-black. Both they and a 21 year old driver of a dark car didn't anticipate the possibility of their collision; how could they. Six injured, no deaths. Pastor mentioned praying for the injured and their families and then, remarkably, reminded the packed convention center congregation to pray for (hence not condemn) the young driver as well. I expect that mandate was understood quite profoundly by those with ears to hear.
Friday. The "nation" is stunned by what the media shrink (whom I respect) Keith Ablow calls is another move of the red line of tolerance of gross, senseless violence by the shootings in Newtown, CT. presumably by a twenty year old troubled young adult. I don't disdain the hyperbole that explodes from the mic to satellite dishes of the media gathered there since, such as "We're eleven days from Christmas. The children were awaiting Santa Claus. But, instead the Devil visited here today." And such and such. I actually agree.
Evil has permeated this planet since we humans, whether you do the fundamentalist Adam/Eve meet the serpent storyline, or the Arthur C. Clarke proto human apes are revelated into doing the math that a femur can be both tool and weapon, and free will takes the dark choice at one specific moment.
Yeah, we've screwed ourselves from day one either way. And that doesn't equate to the fornication analogy at all. We're screwed because we've burrowed ourselves, from reptile or mammal DNA (like it matters), back into the muck from which we slithered with all our instinct and will to escape and "evolve." Character counts. Yes, when you're an amphibian or other sub-species who synapses into taking the risk to force your gills to breath in oxygen from a hostile source, and your kin REMEMBER your sacrifice.
But fast forward through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Elijah, David, Solomon, Job and Isaiah, John the Baptist to Yeshua N-zareth. And fast forward through the catechism 2000 years later based upon the profession that Jesus Christ is, was, and will remain for all time the Logos, not just the Word but the Meaning of all that we know, we want to know, we yearn to learn from, we want to BE, as in with the AM. And did He not say: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." Well, yeah. B-but this DS/Xbox/Nintendo raised punk killed 20 kindergartners, many are likely thinking and saying in all possible manners and means. And, and, and, and, didn't you hear that Mommy Dearest was strict with him, and he shot her IN THE FACE, man? "Oh, I don't give a rat's hiney whether he checked himself out or a first responder got a kill shot, that punk is hanging with the worm that don't never die and the fires are never quenched; enjoy your day, punk." (Best rendered in the gravely whisper of Eastwood's Dirty Harry voice.)
Jesus gave us, through His being Logos, the Dies Irae, which today certainly has been. But read the prayer in its entirety. And then gut check your Christian self to see if you can offer that prayer not only for the adults that died today, the adult suvivors who've lost their innocents, but also for yourself and everyone you know. Everyone of us face the Dies Irae, and we're obliged as Christians to offer it for every deceased soul.
Gehenna smells bad, but one keeps moving and praying through its ruinous, ultimate despair.