Saturday, September 11, 2010

Violence on the Planes

Yeah, I almost choked at Holy Mass today when I heard that in the readings - and something about the destruction of the buildings in the north. The gospel (about the cure of the centurion's servant) was most reassuring, however - just as He did at Cana, our Lord can perform miracles-at-a-distance, and we surely need His power to heal and to restore us. We must recall that profound insight of Newman: "[Jesus] has, if I may so speak, the incomprehensible power of even making Himself weak" - an idea sketched for us in GKC's gorgeous Christmas card: "...the hands that had made the sun and stars were too small to reach the huge heads of the cattle." [GKC TEM CW2:301] This is something neither His enemies nor ours can tolerate - and something which is their defeat: "The cross cannot be defeated - for it is Defeat." [GKC The Ball and the Cross]

This day, a day when we failed to be vigilant, recalls John Philpot Curran's famous epigram on vigilance:
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
and GKC's comment upon it:
...which is only what the theologians say of every other virtue, and is itself only a way of stating the truth of original sin...
[GKC The Thing CW3:312]
The term "vigilance" reminds me of WATCHER, the monitoring tool which watched all our other machines and programs. It reminds me of how nearly every one of the 48 television monitors, each showing a different cable TV channel, were all showing the same thing. I also think of how I quoted Chesterton as we watched the big screens in our Control Room - the screens which showed not WATCHER, but something more terrifying, but NOT surprising - and how, soon after, I changed WATCHER to display the American flag:

And if you'd like more detail, click here for an account of how it happened. It's phrased in a fictional style, but it's a good approximation. And yes, I really did quote GKC...

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