Missing day chronicles

The reason I do not upload Idleposts every day (apart from Sundays) is more defensible than some gentle readers might suppose. On days like today, I spend the whole morning (or some other part) composing something which, upon careful rereading, I judge to be worth rendering extinct; to be, in my sober secondary estimation, counter-productive to the cause it would advance. I agree with Pope Francis on many things — we only seem to disagree on crucial catechetical nuances — and one good point he makes is that we mustn’t “go on” about subjects like abortion, every day. We should, as he has yet to advise, save our fire for when we have a ripe target. (Then, I should think, use both barrels.)

At the heart of Christianity is a great joy — a great, and inexplicable joy to the unbelievers — and thanksgiving for the same Life we are defending must take its primary place. Whether in our choice of garlic bulbs for cheese bughetti (see yesterday), or in chant and song, we should not always pick the “moody.” (Lovely Irish expression for garlic past its prime, no?)

Nor should violence be our first resort, whether physical or verbal. Even in the most discouraging circumstances, we should consider other approaches. And better yet, learn in our bones what they are.

There is a young woman, a very effective TV personality — so good that she is now permanently off air — who once did something quite impressive. She was (still is) frequently insulted by liberals, both behind her back and to her face, with words like “bitch,” “whore,” “fascist,” &c. She has the hide of a rhinoceros, however, and these bullets bounce off; almost unladylike in her emotional armour. I sometimes think she doesn’t even hear them. But once, she suddenly heard such an insult, for Our Lady. And what did she do about it?

She burst into tears. It was something I had never seen her do before. It struck me as the most beautifully Christian response to a stinking, savage blasphemy. She spent the next hour trying to recover her poise. I thought, Joan of Arc was like that.

A certain Cardinal Archbishop of Greater Parkdale — a man whom I think too timid, but whose heart seems consistently in the right place — put this into words last week. He reminded an audience of committed pro-lifers that they were not “social justice warriors.” They should not behave anything like those people. No slogans, no cussing. And when they are surrounded by the cussing sloganeers, they should not respond. Our task is to carry some Christian light into the contemporary darkness. It is not a demonstration, but a pilgrimage. Alluding wonderfully to Cardinal Sarah’s works, he advised us to maintain our “Silence,” outwardly as well as inwardly.

My own reflexes do not run that way. When the enemy is outnumbered, I should very much enjoy a streetfight. But rare are the circumstances in which this would be edifying.

There was joy, too, in the acts of the Knights Templar; in the glinting broadswords of Charles Martel. But these were for special occasions; and the joy was nothing to compare with the contemplation of the majesty of Our Lord.