Archive for March 30, 2021

Thanks, Larry McMurtry!

Posted: March 30, 2021 by chrisharper in Uncomfortable Truths

By Christopher Harper

Larry McMurtry provided an opportunity for my father and me to get to know one another a lot better.

In 1989, McMurtry’s novel, Lonesome Dove, became one of the most-watched series in television history.

It’s difficult to summarize a nearly 900-page book, but Texas Monthly did a pretty good job of it: McMurtry wrote his novel about “two retired, hard-bitten Texas Rangers in the forlorn [Texas] border town of Lonesome Dove.

“The ex-Rangers, Augustus ‘Gus’ McCrae and Woodrow Call, lead a cattle drive to Montana with a ragtag team of cowpokes, which includes a black cowboy, a bandit turned cook, a piano player with a hole in his stomach, a young widow, a teenager who is Call’s unacknowledged son, and a prostitute. On their journey, the group encounters psychopathic outlaws, vengeful Indians, buffalo hunters, gamblers, scouts, cavalry officers, and backwoodsmen. They endure perilous river crossings, thunderstorms, sandstorms, hailstorms, windstorms, lightning storms, grasshopper storms, stampedes, drought, and a mean bear. There are plenty of shootings and a few impromptu hangings. The prostitute, Lorena, is gang-raped. In the end, after McCrae is mortally wounded by Indians, he asks Call to bury him in a little peach orchard by the Guadalupe River near San Antonio, where he was once in love with a woman. Call dutifully carries his partner’s half-mummified body back to Texas.”

My father spent much of his early life in Rawlins, Wyoming, as the son of a man who worked the Chisolm Trail as a cowboy and later became a sheriff who died after a gun battle. His mother then married another cowboy. 

Just before I was born, my family moved out of Rawlins to Idaho, then crisscrossed flyover country from Idaho to Colorado to South Dakota. 

Like the folks from Lonesome Dove, we were constantly on the move. 

Somehow, Lonesome Dove reminded my father of the better days of his early life, and he shared the memories of hunting and fishing and country life. 

He wanted to get his family out of Rawlins to build a better life—much like Gus had wanted for his friends from Lonesome Dove. Along the way, our family didn’t suffer as those from Lonesome Dove. But the wandering from place to place took its toll.

Near the end of my father’s life, Lonesome Dove provided him and me the opportunity to talk about his adventures and discuss the tough times, including my mother’s death when I was 13, in a way he could never have done before.

Thanks, Larry!

If you would be quite sure of your salvation, strive to be among the fewest of the few. Do not follow the majority of mankind, but follow those who renounce the world and never relax their efforts day or night so that they may attain everlasting blessedness.

Saint Anselm of Canterbury

One of the dangers that you run into regularly in the church is the idea of targeting Purgatory as your goal.

The argument being that if you don’t think you’re worthy of heaven, which ironically was a state that many saints considered themselves in, aim for purgatory instead as you are much more likely to reach that state first and as eery person in Purgatory eventually makes it to heaven it’s a much workable plan.

This plan has a very large and rather obvious flaw. If you aim for Heaven (which ironically all those saints that I just mentioned who didn’t think themselves worthy of heaven did) and miss. You might just fall into purgatory for a spell, before you get there.

However if you aim for purgatory and miss, Hell awaits.

Why given this fact to so many Catholics think this way. It’s because of the people tend to like their sins. and like a lawyer trying to get his client as close to the line of illegality as he can without crossing it we tend to try to get as close to that line of mortal sin without going over.

Using Augustine famous cry “Lord make me chaste, but not yet.” as a basis for a way of life is like planning your retirement around getting a winning lottery ticket. Yes someone is going to win the lottery but odds are it’s not going to be you. Yes Augustine is now St. Augustine and dwells in heaven with the Lord, but the vast majority of those who delay their repentance will delay too long. As St. Leonard of Port Maurice put it in his famous sermon: “The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved

Poor souls! How can you run so hastily toward hell? For mercy’s sake, stop and listen to me for a moment! Either you understand what it means to be saved and to be damned for all eternity, or you do not. If you understand and in spite of that, you do not decide to change your life today, make a good confession and trample upon the world, in a word, make your every effort to be counted among the littler number of those who are saved, I say that you do not have the faith. You are more excusable if you do not understand it, for then one must say that you are out of your mind. To be saved for all eternity, to be damned for all eternity, and to not make your every effort to avoid the one and make sure of the other, is something inconceivable.

Now in fact this is the same type of thing we are seeing with the actions of the violent left. In fact the best illustration of this is what happened in Seattle.

As you can see from the footage posted by Andy Ngo, Antifa was busy smashing up a truck with a man inside during the “Freedom Day Parade.” The man exits the vehicle and seems to point a gun at the crowd of Antifa attackers which has, at this point, backed off. He’s soon ordered by an armed and ready police officer to put the gun down and to get on the ground. The distraught man attempts to point to the real offenders, but the officer continues to order him to the ground while ordering everyone else to back away.

Again the left here is coming close to the line in the sight of the police but not crossing it to the point where the man decides he actually has to shoot to defend himself. Police take him into custody (and release him without charges for daring to defend himself and his property when the officers whose job it is to do so refuse to.

The left keeps getting closer and closer to the line and sooner or later they are going to do it without the police nearby or a person being threatened with decide that they don’t care and open fire.

I suspect that once people start shooting back the people who have been vilified for the last decade who are now very heavily armed will not be all that inclined to stop.

Like the person playing dodgem with purgatory the left is playing dodgem with an actual shooting civil war (or more accurate an actual shooting Lincoln County style war) which is likely not going to end well for them, either temporally or eternally.

Personally I’d advice against it.

oh and as Father Z would say: Go to Confession!