Monday, June 25, 2007


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND: “Shame, I do believe, is the most powerful emotion known to man; most discoveries and journeys of importance have been accomplished because of the ignominy that would be the result if the attempt were abandoned.” – from “An Instance of Fingerpost”

QUOTE II – “It may be love, it may be an anxiety attack. At the moment it’s hard to deduce.” – from Kattie Schneider’s, “We All Know Love”


Jeffery Smith over at The Roving Medievalist (who seems to be having a crisis at the moment, please keep him in your prayers) has this must read link on the abuse of minors.

Earlier this year when Cleveland was graced to have Dawn Eden visit, we happened into a used bookstore in one of Cleveland’s trendier neighborhoods. While there I picked up a 1936 copy of “Kristin Lavransdatter” by Sigrid Undset and am now using for my summer reading. If you are looking for something Catholic to read, I recommend it to you (even though I am only half way through the trilogy.) In it are real characters dealing with relevant issues of faith and sin and redemption sprinkled here in there with little gems of wisdom.

A priest talking about parents not allowing (or forcing) their children to go into religious orders says, “’Tis thus that parents deal with their children now. To God they give the daughters who are lame or purblind or ugly, or blemished or they let Him have back the children they deem Him to have given them more than they need. And then they wonder that all who dwell in the cloisters are not holy men and maids-”

The priests in the story are neither too holy to believe or dastardly underlords of vice. They are men struggling for holiness though one priest it dealt with thusly, “Have you never heard how it fares with the false and unruly priests who hatch out devices against their spiritual fathers and those in authority. Wot you not of the time when the angels took St. Thomas of Canterbury to the door of hell and let him peep in? How he wondered much that he saw none of the priests who had set themselves up against him, as you have set yourself against your bishop. He was about to praise God’s mercy, for the holy man begrudged not salvation to all sinners – but at that the angel bade the devil lift his tail a little, and out there came, with a great bang and a foul smell of sulphur, all the priest and learned men who had wrought against the good of the Church. Thus did he come to know whither they had gone.”

The heroin of the story is not presented in an overtly virtuous way, but rather she is a sinner in need of healing. Without giving away too much, her first recorded misdeed is only signified by three dots. We know perfectly well what happened without the lurid detail of modern novels that become quite graphic in describing what body part is coming in contact with another’s body part. (All this tab A and slot B bologna is too much for me.) Pages of such graphic detail are captured in this sentence, “She sank back upon the hay . . . .”

As she searches for God’s mercy and healing she is told, “’Kristin,’ said the priest sternly, ‘dare you think in your wicked pride that this sin of yours can be so great that God’s loving kindness is not greater?’”

So you get the drift. If you are in need of summer reading that is good and won’t be an attack on your faith, I recommend, “Kristin Lavransdatter”.


lore c. said...

Regarding the media's anti-Catholic slant when reporting abuse by clergy...buried in the B section of Friday's (6-22-07)Cleveland Plain Dealer, an article reported the rape and abuse of two little girls by a Protestant minister. Had that minister been Catholic, we all know with 100% certainty that it would have been front page news. I e-mailed the reporter questioning the location of the article, but got no response...what a surprise!

Fr. V said...

If you do ever hear anything from that reporter - I'd love to know.

I suppose some of it is, besides being the big kid on the block, that because we are so united, the pockets automatically become deeper. $$$$$ Not that we necessarily have more individually, but corprately we do.