March 19, 2011

Models of Male Sacrifice

My Lent is lame. You? I feel completely disconnected. I can barely manage to remember that it is Lent right now. I don't feel any different. I'm trying to figure out why I feel so out of touch and numb.

This morning, after I finished my daily Scripture reading, I stared out the front windows at the emerging Spring landscape. The snow that remains is dirty and ugly and the ground underneath is not all that much better. The lawn is full of debris: sticks, dirt, gravel, trash that blew there. It will all sit in its sublime ugliness for a few weeks until the ground dries out enough for me to get out there and start "spring cleaning" The entire landscape could be a symbol of my spirituality right now. The transition time before the crocuses bloom as a sign of hope and beauty in the midst of the desolate landscape.

Speaking of desolation...I want to spend a few minutes talking about Japan.

It's horrifying. I spent 5 years studying Japan and the Japanese language. Like most things you study when you are young, I quit keeping up with it and I've lost a lot of my knowledge of the language. But, I retain just enough to follow what is going on. I know the Japanese people and their deeply embedded self-sacrifice and their tendency towards, what seems to us, vast understatement. It's rude to be direct in Japan-so you can guess how I struggle-except I was not always as direct as I am now. Anyway, I well remember the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island crises; pair that with my knowledge of Japan and I guessed early on that it was a lot worse than it originally seemed to Western eyes.

I want to remind everyone of this fact: the men that are remaining at the reactors to try and keep them under control are more than likely giving their lives so others may live and they know it. None of the men who went to Chernobyl to contain that reactor survived beyond a year. I was listening to an overnight news program the other morning and they were interviewing a first responder in Japan and he said he knew he was sacrificing himself but he felt good about that. I started crying.

I can't bring myself to sacrifice enough of my precious free time to go to Stations of the Cross this Lent and here is a man half the world away who is killing himself so others may live-that means you and me as there is such a thing as wind and world commerce.

Please pray for the souls of these men of God. Regardless of their faith, they are models of faith.

Speaking of men of God...

Today, some of you (myself included) may be shaken by news reports regarding Fr. Corapi-a priest many of us admire and respect (myself included) We don't know the truth and I agree with Father when he said that it is true that people are guilty first and then have to prove their innocence later. Even when people are later vindicated the stain hangs around-unless you are an actor or director then you are forgiven by the court of public opinion-priests are not so fortunate.

Please pray for Fr Corapi and the woman who accused him. Pray that justice may be just.

If I think my Lent is tough I should take a moment to consider that I'm not currently fighting to retain my very reputation-of which I don't need anyone accusing me of anything as I AM my own worst enemy.

Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. I am a fan of St. Joseph, and I pray to him frequently. However, I'm not so much of a fan of his that I was motivated to get my butt out of bed early enough to get to Mass this morning. I'm ashamed. St. Joseph may have wanted a family and children of his own body-he gave all that up and followed the will of God. My body, all too frequently, runs my life rather than anything having to do with the will of God.

When you feel that men let you down, remember men who sacrificed so you have what you have. Perhaps your Dad was such a man? I know mine is. An uncle? A teacher? A priest? Even if we can't think of a man who gave jack for us; remember, we all have Jesus.


Blogger Adrienne said...


March 19, 2011 3:10 PM  
Blogger Mairin :o) said...

I am sorry you are suffering right now. I don't have any answers for you but I can and do offer my prayers.

March 19, 2011 3:13 PM  
Blogger Angela Messenger said...

This post ruined my mascara.

Today, instead of meditating on the usual mysteries of the Rosary I am substituting the following:
how he felt when he found out Mary was pregnant, trying to find a place for Mary to have Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, raising Jesus and instructing Him in the faith, and finally dying with Mary and Jesus next to him (and don't we all pray for that!)

I am praying for you, Dear.

March 19, 2011 3:53 PM  
Blogger Angela Messenger said...

Uh...."he" referring to St. Joseph, of course.

March 19, 2011 3:53 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I thought this was about male models? WTH?

March 19, 2011 4:14 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Cathy will write a post about you next time, Terry.


March 19, 2011 6:16 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Bede - she's been ignoring me again.

March 19, 2011 6:18 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Ya know, Cath, if ya wouldn't spend so much time changing your Blogger image, you'd probably would have had your yard all spiffy by know.

One of my life problems is to quit when I run into problems or when I decide that since my Lentan Resolution to ___________ is broken, so I may as well have another bunch of ___________ or stop ___________.

No, I just remake my Resolutions, as many times as I need to and even I am only able to keep it for a day or two, that might be a personal record for me this year.

I really sympathize with you because in my past, I've barely acknowledged that Lent existed most years. I'm really impressed as to how much you do do. Concentrate on that, too.

I'm trying harder this year.

March 19, 2011 6:49 PM  
Blogger Georgette said...

Hugs, Cathy!

PS I'm not good at 'doing' Lent either. sigh. Lord help you and me and all like us. My key focus word this lent is "discipline" and i'm working on is going very slowly; but snail's pace progress is better than standing still, right?

March 19, 2011 8:26 PM  
Blogger Adoro said...

If you'd feel better being accused of something, let me know. I'll find something to accuse you of....

(After all..I'm sure the current crisis in Libya is your fault...)


Yeah, Lent is....lent.

March 19, 2011 9:48 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks all for love and comments!

Adoro: How'd you know?

Bede: Nice one. Heh. Terry now has you on his list!

March 19, 2011 10:23 PM  
Blogger 3puddytats said...

Cathy--my small yard is the same way...tulips just starting to poke up....but all nasty brown from we're supposed to get a dab more snow in the morning, then rain most all of the week.

My Lent hasn't gottenoff to a good start either..overwhelmed with additional work duties and by the time I get home too tired to do my additional reading of JPII's bio that I had wanted to do this Lent..more spiritual reading. But I keep my daily prayers for Japan, and also for Fr corapi..his Catecism of the Catholic Church on EWTN was a big help when I was going through RCIA..


March 19, 2011 11:37 PM  
Blogger Anna B. said...


March 20, 2011 12:21 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

This was such a poignant post. Very moving.

Now if only you had a section in your sidebar for pithy comments...

I'll make a deal with you - you pray for me every night, and I'll pray for you. Either that, or we toast each other with a glass of wine. I know! Let's do both!!

March 21, 2011 8:21 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Larry: I'll make the prayer deal with you!

March 21, 2011 9:08 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Cathy - with or without the wine? :-O

March 21, 2011 10:37 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Larry: My Lent is challenging but I don't want to spend it dead drunk! (I know-works for Terry, right! lol)

I can do prayer with whine.

That's the best I got!

March 22, 2011 1:43 PM  

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