Monday, April 8

Not too late, I hope to reflect for just a bit on the Feast of the Annunciation, which was celebrated today (4/8) because its proper 3/25 date (9 months before Christmas, you know!) fell during Holy Week.

Skeptics scoff at Christianity for many reasons, one of which is its miracles, of course. But for a moment, consider the miracles of Christianity. They are not far-fetched and strange. They are not fanciful. They do not involve strange creatures or truly odd - as in bizarre - occurrences. They are, as C.S. Lewis noted in his book, Miracles, not exceptions to the laws of nature, but fulfillments of them, small miracles which fit into the pattern of the Great Miracle of God's direction for creation itself.

I contend that in all these miracles alike the incarnate God does suddenly and locally something God has done or will do in general. Each miracle writes for us in small letters something God has already written, or will write, in letters almost two large to be noticed, across the whole canvas of Nature. They focus at a particular point either God's actual, or His future, operations on the Universe....Not one of them is isolated or anomalous: each carries the signature of the God whom we know through conscience and from Nature. Their authenticity is attested by the style

And so on the Annunciation we remember the miracle - as Lewis also writes - of the particular act of God for all of creation focused on "...a Jewish girl at her prayers." And the news - the announcement - of a child.

When I reflect on this feast, I can't help but think of the thousands of girls and womens receiving their own annunciations today and every day. From blue spots on white sticks. From doctors. From the messages given by their own bodies. For many, there is joy. For others, there is confusion and ambivalence. For still others, there is fear, rage, distress, pain and humiliation.

About the child.

In an upcoming issue of Our Sunday Visitor, there's a column about a scandal just as profound as the clergy sex scandals: the scandal of Catholic indifference to abortion. I can't help but agree. We're calling our leaders to accountability, and rightly so. But what about us? What about the Word we've been given, too? What are we doing about the deaths occurring under our watch? Even one prayer? Even one?

The miracle of the Incarnation, of God with us, happened, not via ghosts or visions or apparitions or anything reeking with mysticism. It came in the news of a baby on the way.

Pray for the women and girls receiving their own annunciations today. Pray that they have the strength to say yes. Pray for their husbands, boyfriends and parents - that they will say yes, as well.

Sorry about that.

Did you miss me?

What happened was this: Katie and David were caught smack dab in the middle of today's Great Moments in American Airport Security in Cincinnati:

A security employee saw a knife on the screen when a passenger's carry-on bag went through an X-ray machine, said airport spokesman Ted Bushelman.

But another security employee stopped the wrong bag and apparently let the bag containing the knife go through, he said.

Passengers were required to go back through the security check, Bushelman said.

And what was it? From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Airport police and security officials scoured the terminal, looking for that bag, finding it at about 10 a.m. It was rescreened, and the suspicious object was still present. When the bag was hand-searched however, the item turned out to be make-up wrapped in tin foil.

The passenger in question was allowed to continue on her way and will not face any charges, airport spokesman Ted Bushelman said.

And why, pray tell, would the passenger be subjected to charges? Shouldn't the idiot, deputized, federal employee security personnel be put on public trial by all the prisoners of Terminal 3?

Stop the planes. Let's track down the chick with the make-up wrapped in foil.

So what does this have to do with me? As I said, Katie and David were due to come in early this morning from Virginia, and then make their merry way to school. Through Cincinnati. During the debacle, they spent an hour and a half trapped on their little 30-seater Comair plane. After this debacle, the earliest flight they could get booked on was an early-evening flight. Joseph, I said, after last week from Atlantic City and back, you probably thought your troubles were over. Back in the car, boy, we got some kids to fetch.

So that was my day.

One other Moment:

I was waiting at the Fort Wayne airport this morning before the announcement of the flight's cancellation was made, watching people go through security. The usual suspects were being pulled for the Wand Treatment: old ladies and young mothers. Including the young mother of a baby a little younger than Joseph. She had to stand on the mat while having the wand run over her body. She had to put the baby down. The baby, naturally enough, started crawling away, straight to the National Guard. The mother made a move to get the baby - no - she was told. We're not finished. You've got to stay standing on the mat till you're completely wanded. The baby's scooting - the mother's poised, arms helplessly outreached. The National Guardsman is looking down at the baby pulling up on his boot, a gun inches from her little head.

I feel safe. Don't you?


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