O mother Monica, patron of drunks
and dehydration, pray for us who thirst
for righteousness, for those of us with self-
restraint sufficient to deny the heart
its true and deep desire. Pray for us
your fumbling foolish prayers, and pray that ours
may likewise fall upon those merciful ears
that hear us with the wisdom that we lack.
What if love is love? What if the colloquial bastardizations are its essence after all? What if I love you the way that I love ice cream and autumn rain, and this is the love that holds the universe together?
What if the new commandment is every bit as absurd as it sounds? Maybe we were never meant to redefine love as a thing that could be forced. Maybe we're supposed to learn the impossible: love the feel of new socks, love the breeze in your hair, love In-N-Out burgers, and love one another.
What if love runs deeper than the doings that inevitably mark it? What if you can give away all that you possess, submit your body to the flames, and discover in the end that it was nothing? What if love is not the sacrifice, but the elusive delight that flows beneath it?
What if love--the trivial, everyday kind of love with which I love Saturday mornings and good coffee and tiny cars--can't be forced, but can be found? What if the one who seeks will always find it?
Human shields? Certainly they shielded humans. When the enemy is terror, There is no reasonable doubt. We all have yielded to this internal foe, rapid-firing hearts under quivering ribs and shoulder blades. Guilt is presumed, and there's no use inquiring, no innocence: we are all afraid.
Oh, by the rockets' red glare, can you say
what this blood-streaked banner ought to mean?
Too many of the brave and the free now lay
obscured in dust. Their bright stars shine unseen,
After the dark day, I held you lightly.
Rage spent, we watched the moon grow bright again.
It had only been our shadow, and all the world's
sunrises and sunsets bleeding together
right along with us, and afterwards,
I'd never seen a midnight quite so clear.
Babies are being torn limb from limb, and still we find room in our hearts to weep over a lion. We still have enough leftover moral indignation to call out comparatively trivial hypocrisies. And we still try to push all of this out of our minds long enough to make dinner and take out the trash and do all the other things that are ours to do.
As well we should.
Compassion is not the sort of thing that diminishes with use.
Instead of hoarding our compassion, careful only to bestow it on the most worthy subjects, let us strive to live with fully awakened consciences.
A story about a pet lamb woke David to the gravity of his own crimes.
May Cecil the Lion awaken us to the value of life.