Tassel of the Cloak

Tassel of the CloakGod is in everything, be it sports or music or history or business or wine-making or church or whatever. Everywhere we look there is a spiritual metaphor to be found. Some metaphors may be hidden, some overt. I will attempt to point them out to you. That is the purpose of these laconic reflections. They are mostly intended to be fun and interesting. Perhaps, though, the reflections will provide you some guidance. Perhaps they will lead you to see everything through a spiritual lens, thus appreciating Catholicism all the more. When Jay Cutler throws a Hail Mary at the end of the half, might you move beyond your frustration with the Bears' offensive ineptitude and think of the Blessed Mother? Just an example.

These reflections will only be an introduction to deeper spiritual and theological truths. Hence the title, The Tassel of the Cloak. When David cuts off the tassel of Saul's cloak and shows it to him (cf. 1 Sam 24), Saul realizes that David is not his enemy. That moves them into a new relationship. Likewise, the hemorrhaging woman's grasping of the tassel on Christ's cloak in Luke 8:44 opens the door to her healing and conversion. The tassel was merely an entryway. The mundane anecdotes and simple spiritual lessons I provide are, in my opinion, the tassel. There's much more to Christ's Cloak. I hope you will experience it. So, please, go ahead and "Touch the Hem of His Garment." That is, by the way, the title of a Sam Cooke song.

May We Do God's Will

As D-Day was occurring Franklin Roosevelt addressed the nation.  It was not a speech he gave, but rather a prayer.  "And so, in this poignant hour,” he said, “I ask you to join with me in prayer." FDR asked God to give the American soldiers strength and perseverance.  He prayed that the Father would "embrace and receive" those who would be killed in action.  He lifted up their family members and everyone else at home. 


May God Speak Good Things About You

I hate to be morbid, but I see a profound message in this anecdote.  I heard recently that a man in his thirties committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.  Afterward, his psychiatrist went with the medical examiner to the dead man's apartment where they found his diary.  The last entry, written just hours before his death, read: "I'm going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump."


Our Goal of Perfection

A decade or so after his death a perception arose that George Washington was a perfect man: that he did not lie or sin. Throughout the 19th Century it was taught in public schools and held in the public square that the first president was infallible.   Even Abraham Lincoln defended the belief, saying about Washington: "It makes human nature better to believe that one human being [Washington] was perfect, that human perfection is possible."


The Church is Strong

There are two stories from the ancient world I would like to compare.  The first is that of Alcibiades, a figure from a war fought between Athens and Sparta in the 400s BC known as the Peloponnesian War.  A brilliant Athenian statesman and general, Alcibiades brought great success to Athens in the early part of the war.  While away on a naval campaign, however, he was accused by his political opponents of treason.  Placed under arrest by subordinates, he managed to escape, jumping ship (literally and figuratively). 


The Divine Comedy

Someone asked me recently how he could not be sure he was not currently living in Purgatory.  (I think he was a White Sox fan.) The lament made me think, upon later reflection, of the classic piece of medieval literature, The Divine Comedy.  (Pope Francis, by the way, has encouraged Catholics to read this during the year.)