In one of the many ironies of this Humpty Dumpty age where words no longer mean what they are meant to mean, but only what people want them to mean, the Boy Scouts will now admit girls, which might seem odd, but not if you’re ‘woke’, and a girl may be a boy, a boy a girl, or neither, or both. What of the Girl Guides? I know not – their cookies were all I ever really knew of them – but, another irony, girls want to join boy’s clubs, but boys, not so much girls. Which is why altar boys – again – who admit girls to their ranks soon become a raft of altar servers only of the fairer sex.
I’m more or less with Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, who claims that gender ideology is the greatest threat to our age. One might have thought thermonuclear bombs, or some random asteroid hurtling uknown towards us, but all they can do is kill the body, while ideology, well, that kills the soul.
And after my reflections on blackface, I was surprised to read of Gucci puling off the market an $850 sweater, with a turtleneck extension that looks a lot like someone engaging in that verboten minstrelsy. What were they thinking? Who’s going to pay nearly a grand for a sweater, blackfaced or not?
Ironic also, for today is the feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita (+1947), one of my favorites (see today’s reflections), not just because my niece shares her name, but for her endurance of suffering, and her endurance in the Church despite being on the receiving end of much scandalous abuse, physical, spiritual, sexual. Bakhita saw the truth behind the tattered veil, and that far more were good in Christ’s Body than bad, and that much good and come from much evil – even if in our hyperconnected age, the same evil, along with the puerile, the ephemeral, often get the most publicity by going ‘viral’, a term that applies a disease vector. Hmm. Another irony.
And today we also celebrate Saint Jerome Emiliani (+1537), who ran away from his home in Venice at the age of 15 after his father’s death, becoming a soldier in the wars then raging, taken prisoner, and underwent a deep conversion from his youthful indifference to religion after what he deemed a miraculous escape at Our Lady’s intercession, devoting his time to the study of theology and works of charity. He was ordained in 1518, focusing his apostolic ministry on the care of the sick and orphans – of whom he is the patron. Others joined him, and an Order was established in 1540 under Pope Paul III, the same pontiff to whom Copernicus dedicated his 1543 De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium on his own deathbed, the summing up of his astronomical theory that the Sun, not the Earth, was at the centre of the cosmos, causing quite a revolution, pun intended, or not.
A good note on which to end, summing up the lives of today’s saints by paraphrasing the great Oratorian Cardinal, Venerable Cesare Baronius, what matters most is not how the heavens go, but how to go to heaven.