This last weekend was certainly a momentous one! A British royal wedding, the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II, and the death of the United States’ top public enemy. I had quite a bit going on personally, so I wasn’t able to tune in to as much of the news and events as I would have liked. And by now, so much has been written in the blogosphere that I almost feel like this little post of mine will be totally redundant and insignificant. But it’s my blog, and I’m trying to start posting much more frequently, so here are just some quick little reactions.
The royal wedding: From what I saw it was a very beautiful ceremony and very rooted in Christian tradition. I came across the prayer that Prince William and his bride composed and offered up:
God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.
In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Beautiful. It sounds like this young couple will not only have invited God to the wedding, but will also keep Him a part of their marriage–something all too rare these days. I pray for them that it may be so and that many young people around the world will follow their example. I was also very impressed with Catherine’s dress–very classic, and very modest as wedding dresses go these days. It reminded me of Princess Grace’s wedding dress.
Beatification of Bl. Pope John Paul II: What an experience to see somebody who lived in your own lifetime be beatified! And how blessed the world was to have this incredible man at its service during such turbulent times. He was truly a universal man, who had so much personal experience with human suffering and yet vigorously, tirelessly preached “Be not afraid!” and the worth and dignity of every human life, no matter how poor, how small, or how difficult it might be. In the Church and on the world stage, he was a lion-hearted man, and also an extremely gentle man. In his old age and illness, when many were shaming him for not retiring and letting somebody younger, healthier, and supposedly more capable take over as pope, he persevered quietly, and taught us all that people don’t lose their dignity and worth when they become old and sick. That perseverance is one of the things that inspired me to come back to the Church, and has uplifted me many times since.
Death of Osama Bin Laden: When I saw the news, I had two thoughts almost simultaneously. One was, “Thank God, he’s finally gone!” The other was, “Dear Lord, he must be in desperate need of Your mercy!” I rejoiced in the success of our soldiers and the defeat of such a dreadful enemy who had killed so many innocent people. I also feared for the state of his soul and how terrible his judgment before God must have been. I hate and despise his sins. I pity the man. I wish he had repented. Maybe he did in his final moment.
I was also glad to see some joy and celebration in the streets of New York and Washington. I know some people have found it tasteless, even going so far as comparing those people to the people in the Middle East who celebrated in the streets on 9/11. I didn’t see that at all. For one thing, I didn’t see any burning effigies or burning flags or guns. I saw people celebrating not a man’s death in itself, but rather celebrating the ending of at least one chapter of a dark and haunting story, a nightmare of agony. I think that the New Yorkers and Washingtonians deserved to celebrate. I don’t think that we in other parts of the nation fully understand what they have gone through. 9/11 may have occurred almost 10 years ago, but the shadow of grief is very long and dark, as I know from personal experience.