Today I went to Cap-de-la-Madeleine to reconnoitre our English Montreal Priests' Retreat, which will run from September 11 to 16. We care about our brothers priests and want them to have a good retreat week. On the way back, I got a glimpse of what Snoopy feels like when he's in the World War II mode and is being hunted by the Red Baron in an aerial dog fight! There were several pick-up trucks and ATV's speeding, zigzaging, and considering 6 inches enough separation from other vehicles. I could feel the hair stand up on my arms, and it took way beyond my strength of character to resist blowing a gasket, it took grace!
What is going on in the lives of these people, whatever their age might be, that they would have such little regard for the value of their own life, lives of passengers if they had any, or the lives of everyone else on the road? We're not even touching on the question of regard for others, respect for the sensibilities of other people on the road, even the simple recognition that other drivers are people too, they are actually human beings, with the same right to live, to breathe, to be safe, and to be at peace! Why are these other drivers so much on edge? What is their wound? Why are they unconscious? How old were they when they were first violated, and what was it that happened, so that now they must violate anyone in their way?
Then I remebered what happened to Brother Roger Schutz of Taizé a few weeks ago. I find it was no coincidence that he was stabbed in the throat. True, the unfortunate woman suffers from some form of madness or deep illness. Still, I can't help but find it significant that a man who for many years faithfully bore witness to Jesus, the Word of God, by his own words and life, should in the end to all appearances be attacked in the very spot where his body formulated the words of this testimony.
John the Baptist was a voice crying out in the wilderness who came to give witness to the Word of God. Of course, the Word is more important than the voice; so John was glad that Jesus attracted his disciples away. Then, through Herod and his household, the evil one found a way to attack that voice and silence it. He cut off his head. Perhaps the evil one got fed up of Brother Roger and stirred up this confused woman.
One thing is certain. We must heed Jesus' warning to be awake and alert, and be on our guard against the wickedness and snares of the enemy, the devil, who goes around like a lion roaring for his prey. Through prayer, conversion and Reconciliation, service to the poor, and adoration of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we must open the door of our heart to Jesus who ever knocks, and invite Him in to sit at table with us. We need his love and mercy, we need his grace and strength, otherwise, we can succumb to the dark influence of the evil one and find our passions aroused and our wrath inflamed over matters that in the end matter little.
All we can do is let the "crazies" go, and pray for them, that in time they too may wake up to the goodness and value of life, and respect others and the right order of things. At the very least, when we pray for them as they drive off with some of the paint from our car, the Lord restores us and keeps us in his love and peace. God bless you.