Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You know

It is going to be a good article when a Canon Lawyer starts off with
I was sitting in what could only be described as a tree-house. The platform stood eleven feet off the ground, outside of cell-phone range, and surrounded by a forest of poplar, maple and pine. A twelve-gauge shotgun rested to my left, and on the bucket to my right lay some spare ammunition and a rosary.
Pete Vere's article is about St. Gabriel Possenti and his model for the Church Militant. To paraphrase Kenny Rogers, "You've got to know when to turn the other cheek and know when to stand and fight." As the father of boys, I have worked that dilemma over quite often. How can I raise my sons to be courageous men, defenders of the faith and yet not end up with hoodlums looking for a fight. Well, the answer is that it is okay to fight to protect someone. Or as my 6 year old put it, "to keep from sinning". Bingo. Fight when those behind you need defending. Fight for your soul, not your ego.
Which brings up the second incident in which St. Gabriel Possenti demonstrated the virtues of Catholic manhood. Again it involved a potential rape, but this time the victims were a couple of young virgins. The perpetrators were two soldiers-turned-brigands who were part of a larger gang pillaging the village.

Rather than hide in the monastery like the rest of the clergy, St. Gabriel Possenti approached the rapists and grabbed their revolvers. With a pistol in each hand, he ordered the brutes to unhand the crying maidens.

The bandits laughed. The rest of their gang came over and mocked St. Gabriel's cassock bearing our Lord's Sacred Heart. They pointed out that a single seminarian was no match for over a dozen battle-hardened soldiers.

Just then a small lizard dashed between the saint and the brigands. With a pinch of the trigger, the seminarian shot the lizard dead. "The next one will be through your heart," he told the gang's leader.

The soldiers let go of the young ladies, returned the stolen loot and extinguished the fires they had lit, then fled the village. They knew better than to test the manly virtue of this man of God. For St. Gabriel Possenti did not abuse his strength, but rather he used it to defend the weak against unjust threats of violence.

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