Metadata on that picture is Sun, Jun 14, 2020 – 12:42 PM. That’s after Sunday Mass at Holy Redeemer Catholic church here in Andrews, N.C. This is just outside, next to the Guadalupe Shine, just before the blessing of the guns. Lilies always remind me instantly of Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception, because they are a reflection of the Star of David. She’s Jewish, by the way. So is Jesus, who said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” :-)
In the announcements after Mass I told everyone that because of a request by a husband and wife (who both carry!), I would be blessing any stop-the-threat tools anyone happened to have with them. I said that the blessing to be used, quite ancient, would be in Latin. I instructed that it had surely been used throughout the centuries by an untold number of military and law enforcement chaplains right around the world.
This isn’t a divine mandate to commit wrongful actions. No.
- On the one hand, this is about encouraging the rightful engagement of the right to defend the innocent with the least amount of force needed to remove the threat to life and limb that is coming anyone’s way.
- On the other hand, this is also about asking the good Lord for his protection of the victims and defenders.
As a famous general said: men may shoot bullets, but the Lord decides where they hit.
I am reminded of Saint John Paul II’s insistence that Ali Agca’s bullet was guided by the hand of Jesus’ good mom, and under a specific title – Our Lady of Fatima – so that the bullet just missed arteries and vital organs in such manner that he could be stitched back together and then, eventually, have to health to go to the prison of Agca and offer him forgiveness.
- On the one hand, I was heartily thanked by many parishioners who presented themselves for the blessing of the stop-the-threat tools.
- On the other hand, I was severely reprimanded by an elderly lady (perhaps in her 90s), who said that what I was doing with proceeding with such a blessing just now was totally unfair. She said that she was so very disappointed that I didn’t warn them all first, say, last weekend, so that they could make sure to bring all their own guns to get them blessed! Ha ha ha! I love it. I told her that we would be having a much more organized event in the future.
I’m thinking we’ll have to have plenty of law enforcement protection for this, wherever we hold this event (perhaps in honor of Saint Gabriel Possenti, patron saint of gunslingers), which will have to be thought out well. No chambered guns, no magazines in the guns. It’s not the people presenting their weapons that are a threat. No, no. The threat would be from the thugs and buffoons who think that they could therefore just walk in – not to get their weapons blessed – but to steal all the weapons of everyone else like taking candy from a baby.
And I’m guessing law enforcement of all kinds would also like their weapons blessed as many of them were likely to have participated in such blessings already, say, in a previous life in the military, asking by way of that blessing that such armaments only be used with justice and mercy, and that they themselves also have the good protection of our Lord Jesus as they carry out their duties. But that might have to be done on another date, at another location, at an unadvertised time. It is what it is.
Back to Jesus’ good mom. Her “magnificat” recounted in the Gospel of Luke, 1, is gleaned from the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2. Here’s a snippet from the latter (sound familiar?):
- The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength.
- The well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil.
- The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.
- The LORD puts to death and gives life
- He casts down to the nether world; He raises up again.
- The LORD makes poor and makes rich
- He humbles, He also exalts.
It was little baby-still-inside-the-womb, Saint John the Baptist, who leaped in the womb of Saint Elizabeth his mother upon Mary’s greeting and Magnificat. Saint John, the greatest prophet of all time, gave advice to the occupying soldiers of his time, not condemning them, but encouraging them as soldiers (see Luke 3:14).
So, a flower for you, Mary, Mother of Divine Jesus, and relative of Saint John the Baptist. In fact, here are more flowers which I’ve been gathering in Coronavirus times for the Immaculate Conception: