Saturday, January 5, 2013

Murphy: in Memoriam

Murphy was Catholic to the very core of him;  yet this fact had somehow managed to escape his knowledge.  It was like a small bright afterimage, off-center from the fovea,  which the eyeball swivels in an attempt to catch -- but ever it flees the field of vision.  Here it was not his faith that was off-center, but his sweating, striving conscious mind.   For any time he asked himself the question point-blank:  Are you a Christian?  the answer was uncertain.   “I wish I knew. -- I’m a letch and a drunkard, more concerned about where my next beer is coming from, and what might lie under that interesting skirt, than about what our Lord might require of me.   And I am not about to change that, either!”  (Stubbornly, chin out;  insides turned to porridge.) 
            The times when it was nevertheless brought home to him, that he was indeed a Christian, was when his consciousness was caught off-guard:  an unanticipated answering smile;   an act of kindness, flowing from him or -- through him;   or, wandering down by the pond, spotting a pair of married ducks.

            And how did he wind up, finally?   Did he eventually formally return to the Church?   Was he saved?
            Fie, for even asking that.   Let us   each of us   attend to our own mission, and care for our loved-ones,  seeking to understand the Lord’s will.   As for old Murphy -- well, to be sure, I pray for his salvation;  but as you know,  I pray for the salvation of the Devil himself.

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