Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ora pro nobis...

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And I pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgment not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
- T.S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday, I

It's a dark hour for our great nation. We've made our bed. We've established a system that should live and change with the needs of the times. If our consitution is intended to evolve, then it might also mutate; if it is to be alive, then it has a lifespan. It's the American Justice system that's on life-support - not Terri Schiavo.

The ACLU praised the judge's decision to let the woman starve to death. The decision was praised for "allowing people to make their own end-of-life decisions without the intrusion of politicians." I think it just to note that there've been plenty of political intrusions from both sides on this matter. Jeanetta insightfully quipped that Ted Kennedy practicaly "came out and offer[ed] to buy her a ticket to Chappaquiddick."

The CNN news-ticker described Terri as a woman on life-support with no hope of recovery. What does CNN know about hope anyway? And how does a feeding tube attached 3 times a day for mealtimes qualify as life-support? I know a girl who has a digestive disorder and consequently needs to be fed via a feeding tube. Otherwise, she's a happy and normal 10-year-old. "No hope..." To take CNN's dualistic, quasi-gnostic perspective on life, an infant just concieved has "no hope of recovery." In our culture, "hope" is quantified and qualified by the number of figures before the decimal in your pay-check, and whether or not you'll be able to make it to the doc's for your weekly Botox injection amidst a busy schedule of TV-watching, bar-hopping and fornicating - while you're not at work, of course, stuck inside a dehumanizing cubicle searching for the right binary digits to codify the meaning of life.

All there is left to do is pray. But I'd just like the half-eaten gingerbread men that constitute this culture of death if I was despondant or embittered by this fact. So all there is left to do is pray - so what? That's the best thing we can ever do anyway. Yeah, I'm fired up - yeah, I'm pissed off. Yeah, I feel futile in finding the right works to match my faith in this matter. But I'll be hitting my knees hard this week and praying for forgiveness for the foolish bastards that are perpetrating this crime. And, grafted onto the body of Christ and sharing in His cross, I know I can be stronger than the whole ACLU and Ted Kennedy and Mike Schiavo will ever be. This fight ain't over... but it is already won.
Who else is it who calls us back from the death of error, except the life that does not know death, and the wisdom which, needing no light, enlightens minds which are in darkness, that wisdom by which the whole world, even to the leaves of trees drifting in the wind, is governed?
- Saint Augustine, Confessions, VII, 6


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