I spotted this warrior while on a pastoral call yesterday. You may not know it, but humming birds have sword-like beaks. And because of their color (black) and sleekness (like a pin), they’re effectively a CCW. I mean, can you see it in the picture? It’s the way they eat and the way they fight, and they do fight really a lot. They’re the 1000G zero-turn fighter attack jets of nature. They’re not weaponized; instead, they are conceived with that weapon, you know, our Heavenly Father’s hilarious imagination, so to speak. I love it.
Lions have teeth. Bears have claws. Stingrays have stingers. Flytraps have traps. Spiders have webs. Bullheads have spines. Bulls have horns. Yellow-jackets have stingers. Poison Ivy has poison. Mushrooms have poison. Brown Recluses have poison. Snakes have venom. And those are all good things. Men have reason. And that’s very good. And reason is my secondary weapon of choice.
Mind you, it’s hard to use reason because we have a fallen human nature, and our fallen human emotions attempt to protect us from using a reason which would be reasonable in not just following after fallen emotions just to do it. We love to ditch premises to an argument for the reason that we don’t like the inevitable conclusion that we see coming. We’re ingenious at adding premises where they do not belong so as to get the conclusion our fallen human emotions desire. But, reason is a gift of God and we should and must use it even if this makes us confront that which our fallen human emotions would rather run away from.
With grace, we can use reason correctly. Grace is always the primary weapon of choice. When we are in the state of grace, and are in humble thanksgiving before the Lord, our very lives become acts of intercession before the Lord for the conversion of many. Prayer goes along with keeping up with the Sacraments. The rosary is often called a weapon, a weapon of prayer, and so it is. But just to insist, a life in the state of grace is paramount.
The Immaculate Conception, utterly transformed in grace from the first moment of her conception (see Gen 3:15 and Luke 1:28), provided her clarity of vision, purity of heart, agility of soul such that she could see what we needed while in the epic battle between the Lord and Satan, that is, to just what extent we needed that grace, and she was able to intercede for all that which the Lord Jesus was providing for our redemption that we might also be saved. Her weapon of choice is grace. The weapon of our Lord is His own dying on the Cross. The victory of Saint George in slaying the dragon was to be martyred by the possessed Emperor of Rome.
Yes. That’s all true. And please God we should all desire and in fact be in the state of grace and take up the rosary as our weapon of choice, our reason having been freed up enough by grace that we might think that the rosary is a reasonable choice and in fact pick it up and use it. Yes.
But none of that precludes a Saint Gabriel Possenti (of our Lady of Sorrows) whose shrine in Italy I visited some thirty five years ago. It’s a good thing he was able to “steal” some guns in a scuffle and use his reason at the same time- http://www.gunsaint.com/ – even as the rosary dangled from his religious habit.
For myself, after getting the all clear from the FBI and such like (a very thorough background check in N.C.) – I took my pocket money saved over a very long time and headed off to Hazelwood. My tertiary weapon of choice, if anyone is interested (and I know many are not only not interested but are instead miffed) is the Glock 19 – 9mm Gen 4. I added the included backstrapt (the largest one for my hand, very handy, as it were, very nice fit). I also got some cleaning paraphernalia (easy for the Glock), some FMJ (read: el cheapo practice rounds) ammo and a few targets and ear plugs. I won’t use the targets until I do a bit more sport shooting out at the hermitage to prepare for qualification, which comes before the CCW course (which doesn’t use live ammo, but merely lasers, which is a good idea).
Anyway, after doing some pastoral rounds on my day off, I headed up to the hermitage and learned how to fire a pistol for the first time in my life, learning first how to load the clips (three clips at 15 each for the 19 9mm). I pumped ten bullets into an ancient dead tree stump that had turned to spongy/soft wood about two feet thick (best backstop possible).
Laudie-dog the Gun Dog was my faithful companion taking up her position right next to me, happy as ever, though a bit shy, of course, at the beginning. She let herself be trained right in. Best dog in the world. Good girl!
Very happy with the choice of the Glock 19 9mm Gen 4. A little snappy for someone who has never fired any pistol in his entire life, but I suppose that’s something to work through. There was, amazingly and good for me, zero recoil. Now from experience, I can see why sport shooting is a sport. Like any sport, I like it, a lot.
An examination of conscience was in order with this kind of activity.
- Was I feeling scared? Um… No.
- Was I feeling full of adrenaline? Nope. Dead calm reason, though the first few shots were eye-opening to be sure. Just very cool.
- Was I feeling invulnerable because of an earthly weapon? Truly the opposite. More like humble before our situation in this valley of tears. Humble and clear headed.
- Was I feeling immortal because of an earthly weapon. Truly the opposite. For me, this was a situation in which sensing my guardian angels protection and friendship was – how to say it? – evident to me. And that doesn’t make me feel immortal. It makes me feel like this world is just sooooooooooo passing away so very very quickly. This was about, and I repeat, humility and clearheadedness.
- Was I feeling powerful? Gaghhhh! NO! This kind of thing opens you up to a whole world in which you begin to understand just how much you don’t know, how little talent you have (regardless of how much you actually have), and how evil some people could be if they wanted to be.
That’s all about feelings or lack thereof. It’s important to note all that and deal with whatever needs to be dealt with. But there’s more, this time about the deadpan thing…
I’ve often heard of a gun as being a tool. I always thought that to be reasonable but also a bit deadpan. I mean a gun is a gun, not a screwdriver or a hammer or a paintbrush.
But having shot a gun, and having had all those emotions or in fact not having various emotions that are somehow expected by some, the attitude that came upon me was that this is a tool that is to be used, as with other tools, in a professional deadpan manner, with clarity and reason. I’ve still to get to the why of guns for a priest… Patience! Back to flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Would she accept flowers from the likes of me at least by way of Jesus if I were also to be packing heat more than just the shepherd’s staff that beats the wolves away? But more on the why of guns for a priest after a bit… Patience!