Like most priests I have been called to countless crashes on the roads, or come upon accident scenes and besides administering the sacraments, helped in anyway I can.
Today, driving along a not exceptionally busy street on my way to the Pastoral Centre, I was the one crashed into by a man running the red light.
While my car was totalled neither one of us, thanks be to God, was injured.
Bruised somewhat, but otherwise just roughly shaken up.
I was, in my youth – well okay I admit well into middle-age, a speedster myself and one of those who, Lord have mercy, took umbrage with teaching number 2290 when it first appeared in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which says in part, speaking about the virtue of temperance: Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.
Temperance, like modesty, courtesy, and other virtues, humility for example, if prayed for, and lived, enable us to truly exercise that depth of charity which Pope Benedict stresses in his first encyclical, because such virtues help assure we will live the classic adage of the Servant of God, Catherine Doherty, expressed simply as: I AM THIRD!
[ God first, my neighbour second, I am third!]
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