Thursday, February 22, 2007


The chicken says to the sad horse, “Say, why the long face?”

So I walk in to the second grade classroom this past Thursday. Usually they are a lively group to put it mildly. But that day it was absolutely silent. Their little heads were bent over their workbooks and pencils deliberately traced across the pages at a snails pace. I gave my usual chipper, “Good morning second graders!” Slowly they lifted their heads. I was struck at the lack of coloring in their faces and the pools of water in their big eyes. They responded with a mournful, “Good morning Father Valencheck.” *sniff*

“What happened?” I asked the teacher and she motioned me over to the window. “Remember that project we doing for that college study?” she asked, “The one we were written up for in the paper?” “Sure,” I said remembering, “the one where you feed the birds and count how many show up and what kinds they are.” “Yes,” she replied, “and one of their favorites was Mr. Hawk. Unfortunately Mr. Hawk is eating Mr. Sparrow right now.”

Sure enough, it looked as though it were snowing outside. But the flakes were dark. Mr. hawk was vivisecting a sparrow in the tree just outside the window (and you would never imagine how many feathers a tiny little sparrow has!) and worse, when I asked what kind of sparrow it was (for they had been ever so excited to know the proper names of the birds,) they said, “Charlie!”

And that is how they learned at an early age, “Even predator/prey relationships that are destructive for the immediate prey are generally beneficial for both species. (Capra) Thus does God hunt with the hound and run with the hare.” – Gabriel Daly

And how many chances to learn from the Master you have wasted by not knowing how to supernaturalize them?" – St. Josemaria Escriva


uncle jim said...

You raising big questions here today, Father. All kinds of things come to mind envisioning this seeming paradox. I know a 23 year old college girl. She is a couple of years behind in finding her calling and is working towards a degree in teaching "severely" handicapped young people - although I don't think they use the term 'handicapped' any more. She is VERY currently perplexed by this God who would do or allow so much of what we see as bad going on around us. She claims to really be struggling with it ... although when I recommend certain scriptures to read and study, or various spiritual writers, she never seems to get to them ... so I don't know how apt it is to say she is 'struggling'. She may just enjoy being able to grumble and complain about the seeming unfairness of life.

Fr. V said...


I raise?? You raise. We may have to visit this again later.

Keep with her Uncle Jim. Maybe suggest C.S. Lewis' "The Problem of Pain" to her.