Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Modern Freedom and Modern Fear
"Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities -- GK Chesterton
We met the most charming young couple this weekend. They will be renting a small cottage on our property. The young man will be moving in in a week or two and the young lady once they are wed. Isn’t that refreshing? And eventhough that is the way it should be it is so often nowadays the very way it is not.
In the initial awkwardness of getting to know one another they asked when we met and when we married. It seems that some of their friends have cautioned them that they are getting married- too young- too soon and they should wait a few years.
Why? For temptation to grow? For ennui to set in? For distractions from the purpose of life to take hold, like self inclination?
I remember when the book by Pope John Paul II came out- Crossing the Threshold of Hope and the opening theme was “Be Not Afraid”. I remember thinking- this is the very problem with modern man. He acts badly and selfishly not because he is bold and courageous but because he is timid and fearful. He fears that something may be required of him. Even something hard.
I have been following the sad tale of Tom Brady and his moral demise. For those who are not football fans (if such a person exists!) he is the quarterback of the New England Patriots. It used to be that Mr. Brady was well regarded as a moral and upright individual. There were pictures of him having an audience with the Holy Father after winning the Super Bowl. He had a long time girl friend and it was thought that they would wed. However now Mr. Brady is globetrotting the world with someone new, while his ex-girlfriend is carrying his child. Even more tawdry his new girlfriend is known as the “face” of Victoria Secret. In a magazine article coming out, in which naturally Mr. Brady is on the cover, he reacts against the suggestion that his behavior is untoward. According to the writer the expression on Tom Brady's face says:
“What kind of a world is it when I have to justify having sex with Gisele Bundchen?”
Note- the article says that this is the look that is shot, not that this is the comment that Tom Brady makes. I appreciate the reader who caught this distinction. However in the context of Mr. Brady's actions I think the writer is accurate in his depiction.
What kind of a world indeed when a man need not explain his immoral and scandalous behavior? What kind of a world when a man cannot even attempt to justify the illegtimacy of his child and the utter selfishness that has caused that to be? Shame? Regret? Never.
So this is where we find ourselves; a beautiful young couple, devout in their Faith, hopeful and optimistic, ready to take on the challenges of adulthood are cautioned, warned, disapproved of and the libertines- well they have no need to justify themselves and neither should we.