The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Unplanned Thoughts

Occasionally I find the time just to sit down, usually outside on our lanai, and think a bit about all the strangeness that typifies our world. Because I am currently trapped here in our home, afflicted by an ailment, I have a lot more time to ponder such things. I am suffering through an attack of shingles, which is a very mundane name given to a very irritating illness. I had it once before, 15 or 20 years ago, but that time it manifested itself on my chest. This time it has attacked my head -- shingles on the roof, so to speak. It's extremely irritating, maddening even, since it offers both itching and pain. I am, of course, taking the prescribed medications and hope to be back to normal soon. We'll see. My mother would have told me to suffer these symptoms gladly and offer them to Our Lord for those who are in need of God's grace...so I will do so with minimal complaining.

In the meantime, there is good news today for those of us who are relatively poor. Early this morning, after praying Morning Prayer, I turned on the news and saw that the stock market was anticipating a severe plunge to rival that of the previous week. When the market opened, the Dow Jones Average dropped over 1,000 points before rallying somewhat. The last time I looked it was down 600 or so points, although the last 30 minutes of trading might be the most telling of the day. Now, for me this is good news since I no longer own a single share of stock. I am, therefore, relatively untouched by all the volatility experienced by the stock and commodity markets. While owners of oil company stock are bemoaning the drop in the price of oil (now somewhere around $39 a barrel), I am happily paying far less at the pump to fill up my Kia. As I said, good news for the poor.

Another thought that struck me this afternoon was that the Black Lives Matter people really don't care about black lives. If you really cared about the lives of black people, you would also care about the lives of all people. But they don't. The Black Lives Matter movement (Can I call it a movement?), seems to focus solely on young black men who have been killed by white policemen. This probably represents only a tiny percentage of the young black men who suffer violent deaths. Sadly, the vast majority of these young men die at the hands of other young black men. But for some reason these lives don't matter. Black Lives Matter is no more than radical, racial politics in action. Just latch onto a clever slogan designed to appeal to the low-information citizen, look for venues to disrupt, and you can be certain of good coverage by the mainstream media.

The three young Americans who disrupted the vile plans of the Islamist terrorist on that French train deserve all the accolades they have received. Even the Socialist prime minister of France, François Hollande, couldn't resist honoring them. Indeed, Hollande presented each with the Legion d'Honneur, France's highest medal, for their remarkably brave actions. What impresses me most about these three young men is their humility. Each one praised the other two and those others on the train who came to their assistance. How refreshing to encounter such humility in these days of blatant self-promotion. How different from our politicians who actually seem to believe the world revolves around them. I can't think of three better role models for our youth than these three young Americans --  Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler. May their tribe increase.

That's enough for now. My head hurts. Perhaps a glass of Merlot before dinner. Couldn't hurt.

Pax et bonum...

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