Archive | June 2015

Two Soldiers of Christ

Last Thursday my parish was one of many who celebrated a Requiem masses for the repose of the soul of Fr.Kenneth Walker, FSSP.

Last year on June 11th, Fr. Walker was shot to death in the rectory of Mater Misericordiae in Pheonix, Arizona. Fr. Joseph Terra was brutally beaten. Even if you are aware of the event, read this article: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/06/11/phoenix-priest-joseph-terra-kenneth-walker-anniversary-attack-fatal/71050238/  (I came across this link to an Arizona news site on www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com. I was surprised and impressed at the factual content of the interview. The reporter, whoever he is, is most respectful towards Fr.Terra. I was pleased to see this – because the Lord only knows what grief Fr.Terra has suffered over the last year. He was good enough to agree to an interview – despite his hesitancy. A nasty reporter is not what he needed.)

The news spread quickly to every home of my own FSSP parish. It brought a solemn sorrow to us all, for Fr. Walker was one of our own. The brutality of evil was brought home to us that day. Our assistant priest was classmates with Fr. Walker, I remember my mom giving her condolences to him, and he was most grateful. They were friends, classmates for seven years at the seminary, they were ordained as priests together. It was shocking and saddening for us all to hear what had happened.

The most controversy topic about the event was probably the fact that Fr. Walker was shot with Fr. Terra’s gun. If you read the article I linked to, you would hear from Fr. Terra how this occurred. I remember reading an article online following the attack, written by some liberal feminist against guns, going on about how priests shouldn’t have guns anyways, bad-mouthing Fr.Terra. It infuriated me, I had to stop reading the ignorant comments underneath it. For starters, to bash a priest is sinful. Secondly, a man who has gone through that trauma does not need such unkindness thrust towards him. Thirdly, the attack did not occur because of Fr. Terra’s gun. Fr. Terra reached for his gun as a last resort of survival after he was struck repeatedly with a metal bar, had half his face smashed in, and a finger mangled so badly it prevented him from pulling the trigger. To think of the pain and sorrow Fr. Terra has gone through in the past year brings tears to my eyes – prayer is the only thing Fr.Terra needs from us, not judgement or scorn. He witnessed his friend’s murder, and lives to remember. Yet after this traumatic tragedy, he carries on his mission to work for the salvation of souls, to carry out God’s will – he is truly a soldier for Christ. He has my utmost respect.

Our Lord must have a mission for Fr.Walker to accomplish in heaven to take him away so suddenly. His death has brought light to the traditional latin mass across the world, it has brought us a greater sense of our own immortality, has given us the opportunity to put Christian Charity into practise by praying for those who wrong us (it may be hard to pray for his murderer, but this is exactly what our Christ asks us to do). God draws the good out of every situation. He is both just and merciful, calling each of us to greater heights of holiness each and every day.

Both Fr. Walker & Fr. Terra are examples of the soldiers we are all called to be. Remember to pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Kenneth Walker, as well as for his intercession in obtaining holiness, and to pray for Fr. Joseph Terra, as he continues his fight for Christ and His Church.

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Sorrowful Heart of Mary, Pray for us.

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Meg & Amy: forgotten characters

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**WARNING: possible spoilers for those who haven’t read the book!

“Little Women”‘s Meg & Amy are, I think, characters not given enough credit. The boyish Jo is the one who, flying about, grasps everyones attention, holding all the dear on-lookers enthusiasm, quickly turning into an idol among young girls. The good Beth is praised by all as the saintly, pious giver of self. But what of Meg and Amy? Meg is admired by all as the beauty of the family, and Amy as the vain artist. Despite these seemingly shallow descriptions, there is so much to their characters, yet it’s tom-boy Jo who gets all the attention of young female readers. I don’t dislike Jo, I simply believe too much emphasis is put on her. Meg and Amy put such effort into becoming better women, and it goes unrecognized by girls in rapture with ambitious tom-boy Jo. So know that this post is not to criticize Jo, but rather to put some emphasis on Meg & Amy, in the hope of drawing female readers attention to these splendid female & truly feminine characters.

From when we first meet the sisters, Meg is the motherly oldest. She sees it as her duty to financially contribute to the family while her father is away at war, she takes it upon herself to tend to her youngest sister, she is the epitome of social etiquette, is kind, gracious, gentle, warm, cordial, if a little shy. She holds standards for the rougish Jo & Laurie. Certainly she has her flaws – she is too concerned with her social standing, and is materialistic, setting her desires on pretty and expensive things.

Amy is the spoiled youngest. She is too vain with her looks, headstrong and occasionally haughty. Yet at her tender age she is she sees the greater purpose in life. She sees the value in virtuous womanhood, and chooses to achieve it. She denies herself, understands that she must grow in love for Our Lord (and even strikes up a devotion to Our Lady via her great aunts Catholic French maid – ha HA!).

As the years pass, Meg marries the dashing Mr.Brooke, and we see her go through struggles and accomplishments. She looses her temper at John in frustration with her wifely duties, yet after consideration, she meekly apologizes and makes a firm resolution never to take the same steps that lead to her un-loving mistake. Self pity rallying up inside her, she allows her vanity to go un-checked and frivolously spends her husbands hard earned money. She immediately realizes her wrong doing, and feels atrocious when she witnesses the love and sadness in her husbands face when he discovers her lack of satisfaction. (Needless to say she sells the expensive fabric to Sally Moffat, her friend rich in money, but sadly lacking in love.) When her twins are born, months go by as she puts her husband aside to tend entirely to her babies. Eventually her mother tenderly and discretely steps in, and Meg learns yet another lesson for love. She makes adjustments and proves to John that he is needed and loved and wanted. Meg always tries her hardest to be the best woman, sister, daughter, wife, and mother, she can be. She makes plenty of mistakes, but she consistently strives to greater heights, to conquer her own self, and die to others.

Amy begins as a spoiled child and grows to be a dignified young woman. It’s when Beth is sick and Amy must stay at Great Aunt March’s when she begins to see the bigger picture in life. Her good, saintly sister is on her death bed, and Amy is heart-stricken as to what would happy if she died. She steps outside her own self, and longs to fill the void their family would have without good, gentle, pious Beth. Ultimately her sister is her inspiration, and she makes the conscious decision to grow in prayer and virtue. Her Catholic French maid sets up a little chapel for her (featuring a painting of the Blessed Mother!!), and she retires every day to pray while Aunt March takes her nap. She wishes to be a great artist someday, and drives herself to discipline and practise. She is popular with all of Laurie’s school mates, yet doesn’t allow this to play to her vanity. She goes abroad, and while there she learns about love, (looses her desire to marry rich), and aids Laurie in becoming a better man. She speaks her mind, yet knows when to bite her tongue. Without her, Laurie would not have become the man he does become – which is exactly right, for no man or woman is complete without their counter-part whom God has intended for them.

By the end of the book, both Meg and Amy have grown into beautiful women filled with love, consistently striving for virtue and loving others to the best of their ability.

p.s. Leave a comment on which is your favourite Little Women character, and why!