What storms may come

What storms may come

Outside the Republican convention in New York this week, visiting Republican Catholics were welcomed to the Church of Our Saviour, where Fr. George Rutler is pastor. Yesterday, President Bush attended a prayer service at the church (I don’ think it was a Mass) and the assembled people heard this homily from Fr. Rutler on the theme of Mark 4:41 “Who is this then that even the wind and seas obey him?”

Some notable passages:

Three years ago our nation suffered a terrible storm. Some thought God slept. “Does he not care that we are dying?” Some of us saw many things on September 11. In one moment in the midst of a big crowd running from the smoke, a young couple were pushing a carriage. The baby was calmly asleep. Like Jesus in the boat. Priests looked into the eyes of firefighters asking for final absolution before they went into the flames. Those eyes keep looking at us for they will never close. “Are these the men with whom I am to defend America?” Yes. These are the men and these are the women and these are the children of all creeds and races who cannot rebuke the winds themselves but who have a God who can.

When asked what kind of government we had been given, Benjamin Franklin said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” He meant virtue. There is no freedom without order and no order without virtue. Mockery of virtue has become an art form and the anti-hero is called a hero. G.K. Chesterton saw this already in the early twentieth century, for he said: “The decay of society is praised by artists as the decay of a corpse is praised by worms.”

... In the 19th century a young man confessed his sins to a peasant priest in the village of Ars in France, Saint John Vianney. The floor began to shake, knocking the fellow over. Vianney picked him up, brushed him off, and said cheerfully: “Do not be afraid, my son. It is only the devil.” The young man was impressed but he admitted that he would never go to Vianney for confession again. It is only the devil. It takes courage to say that in the face of terrorism. It is only the devil. That is the simple answer but it is hard to say.

Read the whole thing and be inspired and hope that it inspired the men and women who heard it, especially President Bush.

  • The man can flat deal it, can’t he? The few times I’ve caught Father on EWTN I couldn’t pull myself away from the tv. I’d guess W has a copy of the sermon (What!?! No homily?) and will reflect on it. Great stuff!!!!

  • It is good to know that the priesthood does not consist entirely of mincing fops and delirious schoolboys.