Friday, August 31, 2012

I Killed Rachael Yesterday

I knew it was wrong, even before I had done it, but I couldn’t help myself.  And after it was over, it felt so good, like I had accomplished something good, even though I knew there would be serious repercussions afterward.  The bottom line is: I now confess that I was wrong in my action, because I had acted out of emotion --- and this from a man who writes a blog titled: Do Not Be Anxious.
The day started as a busy one.  I was planning on using the refrigerator full of tomatoes from the garden to make spaghetti sauce, lots of spaghetti sauce.  I was trying a new recipe (off the internet), and it was a bit complex, so I was trying to pay attention to cooking methods and times.  And I was trying to get the laundry done at the same time.  And I was checking on email in between tasks.  And I worried about having time to go shopping for mom’s needs. 
And the phone rang.
My hands were covered in grease, the pot was boiling too fast, and I picked up the receiver to hear the “important” call:  “Hi!  This is Rachael of cardholder services …”  I quickly hit the END button on the phone and dropped it down to attend to the REAL important tasks.  But even as I turned back to the tasks at hand, I realized there was more than one pot boiling over.
When I got things under control, I called AT&T.  After a dozen or so electronic voices, I finally got a real one: “Can’t you block this nuisance caller, who seems to call every day?” I asked.  The operator indicated it was virtually impossible to block, but “I could file a complaint.”  Still frothing, I quickly said no, that won’t do, and then I said: “Wait, I DO know how to block that caller.”  “How?” asked the operator.  I responded: “Cancel my service.  I’m tired of listening to Rachael anymore.”  Even as she was telling me yes, she would do that, the operator was trying to sell me various bundles of MORE services, to which I responded with an adamant: No!  Finally, as a last ditch effort she said: “Well, sir, you really should keep a land line for use in emergency.”  But I had a logical answer to that:  “At this moment, ma’am, I think that if an emergency occurred, I would WRITE a letter to the police department before I used your phone service.”  At that, she got my message clearly, and the next words I heard from her were: “Your service has been cancelled.  Is there anything else I can do for you today?”
And so I killed Rachael yesterday.  I will hear her voice no more.  I continued cooking, but now it felt more of a chore than a good thing.  And that evening, I still felt unsettled, replaying the events over in my mind.  I had acted in haste --- but it felt good in a way.  And the quiet which followed --- no more ringing of the phone with election messages, or Rachael --- did bring a level of peace to my soul, offsetting the unease with my actions.  But looking back today, I think I was wrong in what I had done.  Not that cancelling my phone service was a bad thing --- I’ll save $35/month, among other things --- but the means by which I arrived at the decision was wrong.  I acted on emotion on a fairly important decision, and that is what was wrong.
This morning at mass the priest asked us to pray a Hail Mary, a special prayer --- for Rachael!!  He said that Rachael was making a critical decision today, on whether to abort her child.  As I prayed for this Rachael, I felt a connection to my actions of yesterday.  Important decisions should not be made in haste, I mused, not based on emotion.  Reason and prayer always yield the best decisions.  But I had done neither.
As I arrived at the coffee shop, the guys of the bible study group were discussing an important decision in the life of one of them.  He and his ex-wife had a disagreement on their children’s faith education, and it was now in the court system.  At a lull in the conversation I interjected a couple of comments, reflecting on St. Monica’s recent feast day and her prayers for Augustine; she never giving up on her adult atheist son.  And then I told them of the priest’s request for prayers for Rachael, in her difficult decision.  Prayer, I commented, is a better thing to do, when we want to give in to frustration or anger.  And then I read them a meditation from Cardinal Newman (from the book I was reading), about stepping back from things we want to change but can’t, and instead praying and fasting --- giving God a chance to act.  And at the end of the bible study hour, they closed with a prayer for Rachael.
Then the businessmen of the community rolled into the coffee shop, and the talk was all about politics.  Some of the talk got a bit loud.  There was anger and frustration in their voices.  These were important times and important decisions must be made, they said --- they said, with much emotion.  And I thought then, and now, that a lot of non-decision making was going on, for opinions were being voiced not based on reasoned discussion (or prayer), but emotion. 
“You hit me, and I’m going to hit you back.”  And I think if they had the opportunity, they would have voted that morning for someone or something, or they might have punched some candidates if they were handy.  And these important decisions they had talked about --- they wouldn’t have THOUGHT about.  And that, my friends, is not what is needed at this critical time in our country, and in our church.
We’re making too many decisions, of late, based only on emotion.  We criticize our priests, we criticize our bishops, we criticize our politicians, and we criticize our neighbors based on our current mindset: WE KNOW WHAT’S RIGHT!  And therefore, with polls showing a 50-50 tie in likely election outcomes, we are saying that half the country is stupid because they don’t agree with us.
And that is a stupid to say or believe.
I started this post talking about killing, imaginary and real, and then spoke about things affecting families and then our country.  These ARE important things, very, very important things.  These are not things to get anxious about; they are things to pray about.  St. Monica and St. John Newman had the best advice, echoing that of Jesus: prayer can move mountains, and we pray because we have faith, trust in Jesus.  At this time, we need to reason calmly about the important matters facing us, and pray for wisdom.
Father, I pray for the leaders of Your Church and this country.

I pray for those who think that after hundreds of years, they know better than our founders; you blessed Your Church and our country, yet they would say they could do better.  They would repeat to us words heard long ago in the Garden: “Just eat of this fruit I offer, and you shall be like gods.”  And without thinking, we are ready to taste.  Father, be with us.
Dear Mother Mary, I pray that I might do as your Son teaches, that I might trust in Him, and that I might not be anxious over what He might do.  And I pray most seriously, that He might not be anxious over what I might do.
Father, bless and keep safe You Church and our country.  We trust in You.
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but
Deliver us from evil.  Amen.
St. Michael the archangel,
Defend us in battle,
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
And may thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts,
By the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,
Who prowl throughout the world,
Seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.
My Jesus, I trust in You.

No comments:

Post a Comment