Thursday, September 27, 2018


It has been a while since I wrote anything in my blog. I needed time to fully recover and to do some thinking. Either that or I was too lazy or a little dispirited to want to set anything into print. Dispirited, you may ask? Why would I feel low just at a time when I have been given a new lease on life?
If I didn’t know any better, I could blame it on the times we are in. Old folks tend to do that.

After all I just turned 81 at a time when it seems to be perfectly OK to insult minorities and people who are “different” from you, when lying by the highest authority in the land is a daily occurrence, when the poor, the sick and the elderly are persecuted by a privileged, mostly white and male elite, when taking revenge on someone who dared “to be President while Black” goes unchallenged, when our Church leaders have often being too busy to “defend” some petty rights and the “structure” rather than the poor, the migrants and the persecuted. Living in what is for the most part a white male dominated, management style, complacent Church is not conducive to enthusiasm, either. And the daily repetition that we are in “The Trump Era” is enough to turn one to drink. Enough said.

Forget the “dispirited” part. I am, in fact, very hopeful about the future, but I needed something to hook my thought on, like an historical perspective. I got it last week.

A dear friend of mine, a “good Catholic” who deep down in his American soul thinks I am a heretic, but loves me anyway, told me over a good shot of single malt Scotch that he had just become a great-great-grandfather. Later that evening the thought came to me: what will the world be like when this child turns 80? Will 2018 or any one person’s “Era” have a special meaning for him? Probably not.

For all that’s worth, I base myself on my own growing up experience. I was born in Italy in 1937. At that time Mussolini was the DUCE (all caps, please), the head of a new Roman Empire, adored by millions of Italians, respected by other European powers, personally envied by Adolf Hitler. His quotes inflamed the populace, spurred colonial armies, and were printed on a thousand walls. Endless bliss, power and glory were in the future.
Ah, by the time I turned eight the immortal DUCE had been dead four months, his legacy forgotten and his name was mud. I grew up in a newly minted democracy and the rest is history, as we like to say.

Panta Rei, everything passes, the Greeks used to say.

The same will happen to the newly born of 2018. Eighty years from now I doubt the average American will remember that Trump was ever president (perhaps as an oddity in our history, perhaps for his Tweets?) and that we thought the current stream of evil engulfing the country would have an everlasting effect. In the end, cooler and wiser heads will prevail, new challenges will arise, borders and alliances will have changed, people will have a better understanding of the Universe we are in, someone’s country will be (or want to be) #1 and there will be new struggles to be faced.

And socially minded Catholic “heretics” will still live by mercy rather than by the law, and practice Matthew 5, 1-12 and Matthew 25.

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