The Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States.
"I heard the news again today..."(Beatles, "A Day in the life of") - The 36th murder in Minneapolis this year. Murderapolis all over again?
I guess it's happening all over the country, crime, rape and murder on the increase. 'They' say it's because so much money and manpower is being diverted by Homeland Security. Really? Remember the Stones' song, "Gimme Shelter"? I loved that song, Merry Clayton did the background vocals and cut her version of it on an album of her own. "Rage and murder, it's just a kiss away, just a kiss away!" That song and "Sympathy for the Devil" were two of their best songs ever. Although at the time - seriously - I tuned out the lyrics of "Sympathy -" but after their disasterous concert at Altamont I listened attentively and it kind of freaked me out.
Lately, I've observed a lot of "attitude", especially in really young black kids. Many people I've spoken to have said the same thing. Many have experienced looks and slurs on the street. Many have said that kids will walk out into the street so that oncoming traffic has to stop while they saunter across, arrogantly starring you down. Why all of this rage? It isn't just black kids. I was at the doctor's one day in Uptown and this group of 'punks' were walking towards me and I sort of stepped aside to let them pass, acknowledged them with a smile - I liked the colors of their hair - and in the process one of them shouldered me off to the side. I had been praying my rosary in my pocket (a habit I copied from the Missionaries of Charity) and therefore I wasn't prepared for what happened until after they passed. I wasn't angry, I just felt bad for the kids that they acted like that. The same with a little black girl who really gave me attitude when she crossed the street while I stopped for her and smiled, allowing her to cross - even though it was in the middle of the block and she should have waited.
So what's the deal? Could it be that in a culture where there is no respect for life, and that legalizes abortion and wants to legalize euthanasia, that respect for others has somehow diminished? That in a culture which liberally contracepts while marriage is distained, yet women continue to bear children out of wedlock and into poverty and drug infested 'homes' - is there something morally wrong? Could the rise of murders and other crimes, as well as indecency, have anything to do with a morality in the later stages of decay, if not the total lack of it (morality), in our country? Whatever! That has all been said before though hasn't it? "We are good people. We are really good people. We really are!" So most people insist. Then why are we chastised so?
"One Nation under - who?"
Anyway - St. John of the Cross in "The Ascent of Mt. Carmel" says some things about chastisement. First he speaks that God is neither pleased to send chastisements, nor is he pleased to be forced to warn of these chastisements through supernatural means. We may deduce from natural reason that certain sins warrant relative chastisements. He writes:
"Providence responds most certainly and justly to what the good or bad causes arising from the sons of man demand. One can know naturally that a particular person or city, will reach such a point that God must respond in conformity with the punishment or reward that cause warrants...
"It is like saying: surely such sins must occasion certain punishments from the most just God. 'each one is punished in, or through, that by which he sins.' [Wis. 11:17]"
Rage and murder - it's just a kiss away.