Last week I received a letter from a man who felt compelled to put me in my place. One of his comments pertained to my recent article, A Gunfighter Rides Into Peoria. In that article, I described what happened during a recent trial that I was involved in. Here’s what the man said about my article:
Two weeks ago, I wrote about some of the abusive teachers that I had at the Catholic grade school that I attended during the 1960s. Last week, I wrote about how the behavior of those teachers wasn’t much different than the behavior of other teachers in the 1960s. I wrote that at that time, there were some parents and teachers who believed that abusing and humiliating boys was a necessary part of transforming them into real men.
It’s been a couple of years since my three youngest daughters — Mary, Christine, and Teresa — stopped describing boys to me in the way they had always described them. Before they stopped, whenever they talked about a new boy they had met and liked, they focused on how nice he was. They would say, “He’s such a nice guy. You can’t help but like him.”
Do you know what the Blessed Mother, the apostles, the disciples, and all the followers of Jesus had in common, other than believing that Jesus was the Son of God? They all forgave everyone who was involved in the torture and murder of their Savior. Think about how difficult that had to be. I know how hard it is for me to forgive certain people for what they have done to me, but I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to forgive those murderers.
During the spring semester of my senior year of high school, I had a communications class with a teacher who was in her mid-50s. One of my classmates was a good friend of mine whose father was a doctor. On the last day of class, the teacher asked each of the students what their goals were for the future.
About 10 years ago, an adorer called our home to let us know that he and his wife were not going to be able to cover their holy hour. (For the purpose of this article, I’m going to call him Frank.) At the time of the call, Frank and his wife were in their late 70s. Since no one was home to answer the telephone, Frank left a message on our answering machine.