Mary Ann Glendon has declined the Laetare Medal given by the University of Notre Dame.
I believe this is the type of witness to Jesus Christ we hunger for from the depths of our heart.
Read her letter to Father Jenkins here.
Today also marks the 393rd anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
Some note that there is a record of his baptism on April 26,1564. With many important figures such as Shakespeare, it is common to list the date of birth and death as the day when accurate records lack.
Whatever the case is, we honor the Bard today.
The gloominess of today’s weather leads to a gloomy feeling that all is not well in the world. Of course, it is Holy Saturday which in itself is a bittersweet experience: the Paschal Mystery is intense and the drama of the sacred Liturgy causes me to reflect more deeply on important matters: human desire, cooperation with truth, faithfulness, interior and exterior peace, love, salvation, God, Chris’t atonement, etc.
The spiritual intensity of the day has led me to think of how some cultural commentators are looking at life through the lens of Christian faith seeing a dismal experience of Christianity and the reduction of man and woman to the courseness of existence. I am beginning to see that we are living a dark period of history. Let me give three examples that depress me, all come from today’s edition of the New York Times: “Washington Churches Eye a Prize: The Obamas,” “In Another Recession Sign, an Uptick in Vasectomies” and “Spain Steps Into Battle With Itself on Abortion.” For me, these articles show to what extent that many people are willing to go to reduce the experience of faith to a commodity, life to a matter of “rights and progressivity” and the sexual intercourse to economy and self-centeredness. All three articles strike me as examples of desperation because know of them really demonstrate to me that following Christ (or any religious sensibility) means anything. Has truth, the dignity of human life and a healthy sexuality been totally replaced by radical subjectivity, nihilism and hedonism?
The Spanish interlocutors make the claim of trying to change the current abortion law as a matter of humanity suggesting that not to change the law is to live in a barbourous society. It’s quite the opposite: you’re humanity is diminished by acting selfishly and cruelly toward the unborn. How is killing the unborn giving a woman a dignified humanity when abortion is part of the matrix? The abortion proponents argue that they want a state that is “progressive,” like other Western nations except Ireland. To what are they progressing? Death? A culture where death is the hallmark and not life.
On Holy Saturday I have to say that our society is leaping toward madness and not to great freedom and certainly not toward communion with God and life with Him.
The martyrdom of Japanese Christians in the 17th century is the subject of a film being produced by the Italian-American director Martin Scorsese. The film is based on the novel Chinmoku (“Silence”) written by Japanese Catholic writer Endo Shusaku [1923-1997]. He describes the persecution suffered by Japanese Christians during
Prime Minister Gordon Brown is supporting a change in law that would open the door to Catholics being a monarch. But this may also open the door to a Muslim or a Hindu being a King or Queen of England. Interesting. Read about it. But there’s criticism, too.