27 July 2008

A few words about, and for, Dr. P.Z. Myers

At the Hermeneutic of Continuity blog, Fr. Tim Finigan reports on the desecration of the consecrated host by Dr. P.Z. Myers.

Dr. Myers is childishly proud of what he's done. He thinks he's gotten away with something. He thinks he's shown the Catholics a thing or two.

What did he think would happen?

Wouldn't he be chagrined if someone, who'd not heard before that Catholics believe Jesus is actually present in the Host under the form of bread, said, "they believe that? but why?" - and picked up the Gospels to find out?

I think there ought to be consequences for what he's done. The university must be held to its published principles and not allowed to pick and choose which groups they will defend from hateful acts.

But we don't need to exact revenge. Desecrating a Host does not reduce the amount of Jesus in the world. He is still alive, still with us.

I gather that Dr. Myers wanted to prove that, since there would be no dramatic supernatural intervention, Jesus was not in the Host.

Dr. Myers forgets that there was no dramatic intervention on Calvary, either.

Jesus puts Himself in our way deliberately, and makes no attempt to protect Himself.

Dr. Myers did not perceive Jesus when handling the Host.

That's OK. Lots of us overlook Him, even those of us who know better.

Nevertheless, Dr. Myers, Jesus was there. You touched Him. The Son of God Who walked this earth - that Jesus. You could have asked Him for anything, sir, in that moment. You could have listened for His voice in your soul. Instead, you did some childish, hateful things, and then bragged about it.

Why did you do it, sir? Were you just wanting some attention to liven up your life for a while, or do you really have a grudge against Jesus?

To ask it another way: would you have done those things if no one knew about it?

Either way, if we Catholics are on our game, you will hear almost nothing from us.

You might even think we don't care.

But, see, there's no point in trying to defend Jesus from the likes of you. Not only doesn't He need it - legions of angels, etc. - the shameful truth is, He needs to be defended even from us, even on our very best days. Without His love and grace, any one of us could sink to the level of baseness you displayed. It's no great feat to throw Jesus' gift back in His face.

In the end, your stunt wasn't even very original. The rusty nail? It's been done before.

And, in spite what you did, and the fact that no bolt of lightning descended on your unworthy, sinful head, we Catholics are still here, and we still believe.

You know what? Lightning bolts don't descend on our unworthy, sinful heads, either.

Jesus laid in your hands, helpless. He let you do what you were going to do. While you did it, He loved you, Dr. Myers.

You see, nothing you can do will make Him stop loving you. It might keep you from being able to love Him, but that's different.

He's still loving you, Dr. Myers.

If you want to get His attention, you don't need to do anything but say His name. If you can't bring yourself say the word, say it in your heart.

He's listening.

Tell Him what's really going on. Tell Him how you feel about Him, and religion in general. Tell Him why you did those nasty things to Him.

Use whatever words you like. He can take it.

He loves you.

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