Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Homiletic Suggestion

Here's a homiletic suggestion for Bishop Sean O'Malley of the Duchy of Boston, adapted from EWTN's Biography of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and its description of the confrontation between the Saint and Duke William of Aquitaine:
A year before O'Malley had been called into Massachusetts where John, Duke of that province, was persecuting the unborn. John was a prince of great wealth, gigantic stature, and exceptional ability, who from his youth on had been irreverent and aggressive.

O'Malley's prayers and persuasion having failed to prevail on Duke John . . . he used a more powerful weapon. He went to the church to say Mass, while the Duke and other schismatics stood at the door, as under excommunication. The kiss of peace before the Communion had been given, when suddenly O'Malley laid the wafer of the Host on the paten, turned, and holding it high advanced with it to the door, his eyes flashing and his countenance all on fire.

"Until now," he thundered, "I have entreated and besought you, and you have despised me. Other servants of God have joined their prayers to mine, and you have not regarded them. Now the Son of the Virgin, the Lord and Head of that Church which you persecute, comes in person to see if you will repent. He is your judge, at whose name every knee bows, in Heaven, in Earth, and in Hell. Into His hands your obstinate soul will one day fall. Will you despise Him? Will you scorn Him as you have done His servants?"
Now Duke William's story ended happily:
Unable to bear more, the terrified duke fell on his face. Bernard lifted him up, and bade him salute the bishop of Poitiers. The duke did as bidden, abandoned the schism, and restored the bishop to his see. William afterwards founded a new Cistercian monastery and went on pilgrimage to Compostella, in the course of which he died.
Whereas I anticipate another ending for Duke John's saga:
Delighted for the opportunity to curry favor with Protestants worried about the Whore of Babylon encroaching on the Capitol, and with Abortion-Rights Activists eager to advance the cause of death, the happy Duke turned to the camera-ed throng and declaimed:
"I'm not a filthy papist. I'm a legislator running for president. My oath is to uphold the sacred and holy Constitution of the United States in my public life. My oath privately between me and God was defined in the Catholic church by Pius XXIII and Pope Paul ICVVFGHVI in the Vatican VVMMCMMII, which allows for freedom of conscience for Catholics with respect to these choices, and is therefore no oath at all, and that is exactly where I am. And it is separate. Our holy Constitution separates papism and state, and turbulent priests like O'Malley should be reminded of that."
The Duke then founded a new Planned Parenthood clinic and went on a pilgrimage to the Castro District of San Francisco.
But then, St. Bernard didn't know what William would do, either. Personally, I think it's worth a shot.

No comments: