Gustave Dore’s “The Saintly Throng in the Form of a Rose”
When I finally shook off the shackles of my religion, a process that took years, I freed my suffering psyche from a bondage I felt was never fair or right. After all, if God has made us “in his own image,” then He has made us as flawed as He must be. Instead of humanity being obligated to pray for forgiveness and mercy, should not He ask forgiveness of us?
Would a father or mother today truly condemn their child to eternal damnation for any degree of offense or disobedience? I suppose there must be consequences, right?
But eternal damnation? If my child were born with the genetic makeup to perpetrate a heinous crime, then I ought to weep for passing down that predisposition. I ought not to wish upon that child eternal damnation. Both nature and nurture influence mental health, though as we learn more about the brain and its chemistry, it would appear that nature pulls more sway. Is it a child’s fault that s/he is chemically unbalanced? I think not. Continue reading
When my boys–Nick, 22 and Jake, 19–said they were coming home for Easter a couple of days ago, I launched into a spring cleaning frenzy. It was time to put away the Christmas decorations that filled the spare bedroom and the candles that still adorned our window sills. It was time to find the ugly bunny and think about places to hide Easter eggs where the boys haven’t looked before. Yes, they still expect a hunt. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Greetings from Ugly Bunny (surrounded by Christmas candles…I’ll put them away soon!)
April 18th, 1943:
“Here it is Sunday again, and Palm Sunday at that. I just got back from Mass and communion. Time seems to go by so fast in the army. When I left home it was Washington’s Birthday, now it’s Easter.” The ages old question of where time “goes” seems to unite us in a common theme. A friend’s status update on Facebook today asks, “Does anyone know where September went?” Suggestions for where to “look” to find the missing month are giggle-provoking. “Civilians don’t realize how little free time a soldier actually has.” The notion of “free time” causes me to think. Is any of our time ever free? My husband, Mike, just came in to look at our calendar. He is unable to express–adequately–the frustration he feels over the number of obligations he has taken on given the constraints of time. But I can read it in his face. He does not need to say anything. Nonetheless, we talk over toast about what we might do to improve our current budget.
“Thursday we got paid. This pay covered the period from when we entered the army until March 31. I was paid $48.50. This does not include the $6.75 for my insurance, nor the $3.75 for war bonds. In other words I made about $59.00. Since we will be paid again in about two weeks for April, I am sending home $40.00 with which you can do what you want.” When sons left their homes back in the ’40s, they actually sent money back to their parents. What a foreign concept that is in a world which today seems to accept that children will be cared for by their parents long after they are no longer children.