Saturday, 27 March 2010
Reflections at this Difficult Time
Holman Hunt’s The Scapegoat, which I remember seeing on a visit to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, on the Wirral, when I lived in the North-West. It drifts into my mind off and on, these days … The thing is, of course, that the goat was an innocent creature, whereas a human scapegoat, being a child of Adam, may bring his own "baggage", whether great or small, to add to the burden.
Conscious of feeling vaguely anxious, even slightly ill, as can be the way at times when someone dear to us is suffering or in trouble and we do not know all the details, or what lies ahead.
It is very good to have the companionship of others in the Catholic blogosphere; to know that we are not alone at this time. Thank you to all who have written so informatively and so comfortingly on the great matters that beset us at present.
There is much pain and distress just now. We think of all those victims; and of those in the Church who made so many errors in their handling of the cases. I put it no more strongly than that; there are some things we may never know about the history of all these things. But I hope enough information comes to light - and soon - to clear the air as well as possible.
Thinking a good deal about my favourite saint, St Peter, that wonderful lion-heart whose courage sometimes failed; and yet Christ knew His man, and chose him to be the Rock in whose shelter His flock would gather against the storm.
Remembering also the noble Good Thief, who acknowledged his guilt, and from his own agony defended the innocent Lord in His agony.
There is a passage in St Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, where he draws an analogy between the flesh of the sacrificed animals, taken outside the camp to be burnt, and the sacrificial death of Christ outside the gate of the city. I am a little inclined to think that St Paul’s analogies are not always a very good fit; but sometimes a phrase can leap out, and give us insight and strength in various situations, which are also not necessarily an exact fit. But I think that’s all right, isn’t it? And in this passage (Chapter 13, verse 14) there is one such, par excellence, and I think very apt at present:
“Let us go to Him, then, outside the camp, and share His degradation. For there is no eternal city for us in this life; but we look for one in the life to come.”
I have come to appreciate more and more the fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary: The Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven, and the Glory of all the Saints. We have our friends in Heaven, and we can have unshakeable confidence in Our Lady.