Embarrassing the Angels
The Anchoress wrote a wonderful item the other day that I wish I had written. Taking her inspiration from Peggy Noonan's March 2 column, she tells of her endeavor to remind herself of this phrase during Lent:
When I see teenage suburban girls talking like 7th Avenue streetwalkers while they flick their cigarettes, I will say it.
When I hear my feminist friend railing at the unfairness of a biology that forces women to menstruate, but not men, I will say it.
When I hear a priest change the liturgy to suit his ego or his ideology, I will say it.
When I see teenage boys wearing pants with the crotches at the knees and their underwear exposed, I will say it.
When I hear parents and children speaking to each other disrespectfully, particularly if they’re flinging the eff word around like sailors, I will say it.
When I see people call presidents and former presidents by tawdry nicknames I will say it.
When “I” am cursing like a sailor-wannabee, I will say it.
When I find myself walking away from my husband or kids with an intemperate mutter and shake of the head, I will say it.
When I imagine myself flipping off another driver while in traffic, I will say it.
When I find my mind wandering during Holy Mass, and realize I was thinking about really stupid, superficial or judgemental stuff while the rest of the congregation praying to the Holy Spirit, I will say it.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton once wrote a book called What’s Wrong With the World. He meant to tell us. It took him many hundreds of pages, just to begin.
But the seed for his task had been planted years earlier; a newspaper had contacted him, asking him to contribute to a sort of symposium of prominent men responding to the same question: “What’s Wrong With the World?”
He replied, Dear Sirs; I am.
Big bonus points to her for mentioning GKC. I wanted to add a few to her list for myself, but she took most of mine. Still, here are a few more:
When I find myself doing anything to dishonor my wife or my kids, I will say it.
When I lose my patience in a long line at the store and hold it against the store clerk, I will say it.
When I have the urge to roll off a stream of obscenities because of something I'm doing while renovating the basement isn't going "just right", I will say it.
When I use the easy and simple way out in regards to humor, and utter sarcasm and disparagement towards someone or something, I will say it.