Friday, May 23, 2014

Don't be so mean, my brother

There's an old saying, "When God puts His hand on a man, I take mine off." It means that when someone is dying or going through a horrible situation that can't be undone or lived with it's not our business to give them an extra kick. An English man, a Catholic writer named Stratford Caldecott is dying. The poor man likes Marvel comics and his daughter arranged for a copy of the new Captain America movie to be shown for her dad. Several actors who have played Marvel superheroes in the Avengers movies have posted their photos with short messages of support. You may privately think, "How silly. A grown man...," but you wouldn't say so out loud or you'd be jerk. I'm afraid that a Catholic blogger who has amused me greatly at times fell into that behavior with this post.

I think it was unfair. For all we know, Mr. Caldecott may have a priest visiting him daily. Maybe his family say the rosary by his bedside every night and the Angelus every day at noon. Maybe he's had Last Rites and has reached the final stage of dying where life has gotten very, very basic: morphine, ice chips, a few words, sleep. Attacking a dying man and his grieving family just comes across as so loathsomely small and mean and I don't see Catholic virtue in it at all.

When my paternal grandmother was dying her sons all would've watched soap operas and feigned enthusiasm if it would have made her smile one more time. Whether  Mr. Caldecott's favorite movies are to my taste or not,  I understand what Mr. Caldecott's daughter is trying to do. God bless her and him.