My Thoughts

Have you ever walked up on a rattlesnake? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a grizzly bear? Have you ever offered a hand to a crocodile? If you have, how did that experience work out for you? Seriously. The reason I ask is it seems to me, most people who have been confronted with something so deadly, so frightening—and live to tell about it do so recognizing the immediate danger and reacting in such a way as to remove themselves from the danger entirely or by mitigating the situation, like turning tail and running away, climbing a tree or shooting the varmint before it grabs hold of you. Sounds fair. But then, there is always the fool …

The fool looks at the situation and denies the danger, denies the facts then in evidence. That rattlesnake is not really a rattlesnake at all, but a harmless garter snake; that grizzly bear is just a great big teddy bear wanting a hug; the crocodile simply wants to nuzzle.

I am reminded of the old aphorism “Curiosity killed the cat,” though it would seem more accurate to say what killed the cat was a curiously complete lack of curiosity. I am also reminded of one of Aesop’s fables, The Scorpion and the Frog. Perhaps you have read it before, but just in case you never have, here it is (it’s brief).

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…”

Years and years ago, some fifty-five years ago to be more precise, I thought I might become a journalist. After all, my mother was a journalist, besides being mother to a whole passel full of rug rats and curtain crawlers (eleven to be exact,) so how hard could it be? Didn’t take long for me to realize I did not have the nose to smell a skunk, so I moved on to other things. It is the nose, which is crucial for any journalist, the nose to smell a story, to dig deep and wide to uncover the facts, no matter how unpleasant, no matter how disagreeable.

A journalist must above all else have a humongous, insatiable curiosity, a driving need to discover the truth behind the lie, to find stories that are “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice said, to dare ask questions without fear of the answers. Those who would call themselves journalist these days have killed their cat with a curiously complete lack of curiosity, asking questions to confirm their confirmation bias, to prove their preconceived narratives, and to conceal the uncomfortable truths of their duplicitous complicity. Journalists now willingly carry the scorpion on their back, refusing to believe what is in its nature.  

These are desperate times, and desperate times call for honesty and truth. I used to read the newspaper; no longer do I subscribe. I used to watch the nightly news; no more do I bother to waste my time. As Qoheleth said, “Vanity of vanities, vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Eccl 1:2).  

Wakeup America.

Just my thoughts for a Thursday, for what it is worth.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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