7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 20) – Pessimism and Love

— 1 —

Two prayer requests:

First, please pray for Ireland. The longstanding legal protection for the unborn in that famously Catholic nation is in grave danger of collapsing, as the governing Fine Gael party is planning to pass legislation to legalize abortion in cases in which a woman threatens suicide if not permitted to abort her unborn child. As we know all too well from our experience in America, this kind of law is a gateway to de facto legal abortion for any reason whatsoever, and it is a direct violation of Fine Gael’s pro-life pledge to its voters. The Irish pro-life community is rallying, but they are in desperate need of our prayers and spiritual support.

Secondly, please pray for Fr. Luke Suarez, who is a priest at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, CT. His sister posted this letter online pleading for prayer support for her brother, who has been ordained less than two years and now faces the monumental task of helping to shepherd his parish and comfort grieving families in the aftermath of the horrific massacre at Sandy Hooks Elementary School. Imagine an entire week in which one has to preside over two wakes and two funerals every day, most or all of them for small children. That is what Fr. Luke has been doing this week. Please read the letter and offer your prayers for him and the entire community of Newtown.

— 2 —

This past week, I was reading something that mentioned the different Love Languages (if you’re not familiar with the concept, this website will bring you up to speed). Immediately the thought popped into my head, “Well, it’s fairly ironic that my predominant Love Language is Physical Touch, because I feel pretty certain that’s something God is going to call me to give up. In fact, it makes sense that He would; it would be quite the denial of self!” It was a joyless, resentful thought, but I struggled to put it aside nonetheless.

I have a tendency towards this sort of spiritual pessimism, and it’s a dirty rotten liar. This morning at Mass I realized (during the Consecration, in fact) that no matter what future God calls me to, he will satisfy this part of me to overflowing. If to the married life, it will come through the affection of my wife and children. If to the priesthood, then it will come from having the privilege of holding Our Lord’s Body in my hands, and bearing Him to others. If to a life of consecrated singlehood, it could come in any number of forms yet to be revealed: in caring for the infirm, comforting the grieving, holding the hand of the dying, or simply being more available to give a hug to someone who needs one. No matter what the case ends up being, I know that God will not leave me starved for love.

Lord, increase my trust! Lord, increase my faith!

— 3 —

When a Carmelite nun, born Edith Stein, was led into the gas chamber at Auschwitz, she was naked, abused, degraded, and humiliated. Yet she was not alone. Because almost 2,000 years before, Jesus Christ, Lord God and King of the Universe, had looked down and fallen so in love with Edith that he took on human flesh and allowed himself to be stripped, beaten, mocked, dragged through the streets, and put to a cruel, agonizing death on the Cross, because he wanted to be as close to her as possible at her darkest hour, to share in every last ounce of her suffering, and to die with her as she was murdered by evil men.

It was with his own pierced hands that he soothed her fear. It was with his own lacerated arms that he held her as she died. It was with his own parched mouth that he whispered words of comfort as she breathed forth her soul. And it was to his own Father’s Kingdom that he bore her up with him in order that they might share in eternal happiness together. She was His Bride, and He was her Beloved, and what true husband would do less?

That is how much Jesus loves her. That is how much Jesus loves you.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us!

— 4 —

I was disappointed to learn that my favorite comic book artist, Andrea Sorrentino, is going to be leaving I, Vampire and moving over to Green Arrow. While I’m excited that Mr. Sorrentino is moving up in the comic book world (and I have no doubt that he and Jeff Lemire are going to do wonderful things together), I’m going to miss the unconventional gothic style and masterful command of light and shadow that he brings to writer Josh Fialkov’s gripping and unpredictable saga of the vampire/defender of humanity Andrew Bennett. Sic transit gloria comici.

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I, Vampire #1

— 5 —

Last week I swung through my local used bookstore, and came across this small leather-bound edition of the Holy Bible. I’ve been desiring a more portable volume to bring to church and carry with me on the road, and at $12 I couldn’t pass this up.

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It was published in 1956, and despite being nearly sixty years old, is in excellent condition. The Old Testament is the Douay Version and the New Testament is the Confraternity Edition. Though I occasionally come across phrasings that are a little difficult to understand, for the most part I love the lilting, archaic feel of the language. However, my favorite thing about this Bible in particular is found within the Family Record.

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I’m in love. How cool is it to have a page specifically to record vocations from within one’s family?! And as a friend of mine noted, how wonderful would it be to fill up that page?!

— 6 —

Yesterday I submitted my time-off request to attend the March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday, January 25! So excited that I am able to go this year; this will be only the second time that I have been able to take part in the March. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn, pray for us!

— 7 —

Merry Christmas!

The Nativity, by Federico Fiori Barocci, 1597

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

4 Responses to 7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 20) – Pessimism and Love

  1. Thomas says:

    3^ I’ve been considering going for years, but it’s quite a trek for me. This year is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and combined with that and the recent election – I’d really like to go. Not usre if it will work out. We’ll see.

  2. Rebekah says:

    #s 2 and 3 brought me to tears. Good, sweet tears. Thank you.

    • mikecgannon says:

      Thank you. God is the Author of all. I just try to scribble down whatever little bits I manage to pick out over the static. #3 definitely had me in tears while I was composing it in my head.

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