A priest who sometimes reads this blog stopped by the other day, going way out of his way to get this rose at the local supermarket as a gift for the Immaculate Conception. He was happy to note that he was greeted with enthusiasm at the supermarket with “Hi Father!” and “Hello Father!” “You just don’t get that where I’m from,” he said. By way of reprimand, he mentioned that I haven’t been putting up many flowers for the Immaculate Conception lately and wanted to show me how it’s done. :¬) I will take his reprimand most seriously, since one just doesn’t happen to stop by this parish, as we are at the very end of the backsides of the beyonds, one of those “you can’t get there from here” places. I’m sure our Lady looks upon his efforts with benevolence. He’s right on target.
At Walmart the other day, at the sports counter, getting some ammo, I met perhaps one of the most ferocious prosecutors and then hanging judges ever from Florida, now just retired and moved to WNC. He was stunned that a priest would be buying ammo but was, I must say, very pleased about it all. We have some common friends and we will surely meet again. I have some questions for him. Anyway, he made the rather snide remark that he thought that priests were only to be found in the flower section of the store. Ha ha. I’m happy to jolt him out of his misconceptions. There are very few priests and seminarians I know who are not armed to the teeth. All of them, and in my experience only them, by the way, are the ones who would be such good sons of our heavenly mother as to give her a flower. Very manly, I reckon. Very priestly.
Speaking of ammo, I was able to get a few rounds off the other day, getting just a little bit tighter pattern. A couple early strays, but then closer. Only one kill, but even that wasn’t 10x. I’m far from being a good shot. Still pitiful. And I gotta work on mechanics. I’m still waiting for our new deputy sheriff (also retiring to WNC) to put in a home shooting range so that there will be a place close by to get in some practice. You can never be too practiced. I’m still left and to the South.
Oh, and is that offensive, putting this in a post about giving flowers to the Immaculate Conception, you know, all this terrible violence and stuff like that? I reckon not, for the reason that self-defense of self and others is a positive contribution to the virtue of justice. Mercy is built on justice as Saint Thomas Aquinas has it in his commentary on the Sentences. Self-defense for self and others is mercy, to put it technically, a potential part of the virtue of justice. The provision of justice is also mercy. As Saint Thomas More said, “If I am threatened with justice, then I am not threatened.” The one who massacres innocent church goers or supermarket shoppers is not threatened with justice either, for he expects this. Justice is not revenge. It is not cruel. It is not somehow un-Christian. Self-defense of self is good. Defense of other innocent people is really good. It is also what some priests who give flowers to the Immaculate Conception might also do.