Thursday, October 09, 2008

What to do? in pictures

Mom & dad are on a trip, and have left Joe (16) and his little brother in the care of a friend who is staying at the house. Joe knows he must get up and get Brandon up and to school, this is not the sitter responsibility but his. But at 6AM, responsibility is a hard taskmaster...

So ok, Joe gets up...


The thought of the bus soon arriving helps Joe get started...

Breakfast, not great perhaps, but adequate under the circumstances

everyone brushing... oh yeah, making good progress indeed; they'll make the bus on time!

Joe knows that he must have Brandon to the bus stop on time, or there will be trouble later.

But then the monkey wrench; two open doors, one to outside where duty calls, one left open to the bathroom where, ahem, something else seems to be calling.

The first call (of duty) promises no immediate reward, although there is a promise of the opposite if duty is not met. The second carries an implied promise of something not quite seen, but quite desired. This is not the first moral decision of Joe's day; he had to choose between the bed and getting up, ignoring Brandon or feeding him and making sure he's dressed and ready for school, but now the stakes have risen higher; and Joe hesitates. What would Joe do?

Joe and Brandon are on the bus, but Joe's world is a little upside down,

Because he did what was right, but has left a part of himself behind, trapped in time.

As more and more little parts get stuck in the mire of time, our ability to 'see' and judge decreases with our fragmentation. Enough gets anchored behind, and the way gets lost alltogether. The alternative is true contrition, repentance, and confession, which pulls up the stakes and restores sight and unity of being.

what's my point in this little exercise? Today I awoke at 2AM with the beginnings of a migraine headache, and did the best I could to "offer it up," as we say. Offering up the suffering for the Holy Souls, but also, asking Our Lady to distribute grace where she sees fit. Oddly, the thought of the electorate came to mind, with this little story. For, are we not like the teenage boy, with a clear sight of what needs to be done, but also, distracted by the dangling of the suggestion of a solution to all our national problems, if we'd just go through the door with the candidate? And at another level, our moral choices are clouded in the same way as this little story; we see a dim shape indistinctly which offers us immediate satisfaction, and we compare to the clear call of duty which carries no immediate, but only deferred reward. It surprises me not that we so often choose like Eve did in the garden, or obey Eve like Adam did; heck, we've been told to "stop and smell the flowers along the way" since we were toddlers, of course we often choose what is in front of our nose instead of what is our goal, putting what is seen above what is unseen. Going back to politics, to borrow a phrase from St. Paul, "Hope is not hope if its object is seen." -

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