By Mary Sayad
Everybody loves a good story. Christ taught in parables or stories because the average people of that time were not literate, however, they were always open to learning through examples in stories that were related by the elders of their families or Rabbis at the Temple.
That being said I wish to convey the story of a book written by Oscar Wilde, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
There was a young and handsome man, born into nobility and wealth in London by the name of Dorian Gray. He was afforded the comforts of life and nothing was spared. He had returned from a world tour and one of the souvenirs he brought back from Egypt was a figurine of a black cat. It was set on a table in the parlor.
It was believed that this Egyptian figurine possessed satanic powers and if one wished for something in its presence, his wish would be granted, however, a dear price would have to be paid in return for the favor.
Dorian Gray’s extravagant mansion was furnished with rich, hand crafted furniture. Maids and butlers maintained the interior of his home and gardeners cared for the lavish grounds and beautiful landscape.
Dorian stood in his parlor admiring his freshly painted portrait. The artist was conversing with him as he packed his paints and brushes. As the vain and foolish Dorian was admiring his portrait, he wished that his youthful appearance would never change and that the painting should age instead of him. He was determined and willing to sell his soul in order to gain this wish. He bargained successfully.
Years and decades passed and Dorian’s appearance remained unchanged and youthful. He became more arrogant and less sincere to his friends and his acquaintances. He deeply hurt fine men and marred their reputations. He frequently visited brothels and his cascading immorality pushed certain individuals who once loved him to commit suicide. Indeed, he became a venomous and poisonous snake to his circle of acquaintances as his zeal and conceit blinded him to the truth of his evil behavior.
Although his wish for his appearance to remain handsome and youthful was granted, each time he offended someone and/or broke the law, his portrait would age and it gradually became more repulsive and hideous. His portrait mirrored his spiritual desolation and his eternally doomed soul.
Upon his death, his portrait mysteriously returned to its original beauty, but the ugliness and deceitfulness of his life appeared on his physical face. He could not escape the horrors he incurred on others and because he didn‘t repent, sadly, Dorian’s soul descended to hell.
This story became a movie and when I was a young child, I vividly recall watching it on television. It impressed me and its moral lasted with me for my entire life! Children are very perceptive and learn a lesson with clarity.
Do you believe that people with bad intentions who wreak havoc on the lives of the innocent get away with their transgressions?
Certainly there is a simple moral for the above pitiful story. Many of you have heard the slogan, “What goes around, comes around”, for it is impossible to escape universal law. Our jails are filled to capacity because our criminal laws punish the guilty. Intentional evil and crimes committed against mankind are punishable by law. Yet, God’s law is greater than man’s law.
Proverbs 11: 2 - “When pride comes, disgrace comes: but with the humble is wisdom.”
“ 11: 3 - “Wealth is useless on the day of wrath, but virtue saves from death.”
“ 11: 9 - “With his mouth the impious man would ruin his neighbor, but through their knowledge the just make their escape.”
“ 11:18 - “The wicked man makes empty profits, but he who sows virtue has a sure reward.”
“ 11:21 - Truly the evil man shall not go unpunished; but those who are just shall escape.”
This month, children return to their schools, but it is the parents’ duty to teach them morality and the difference between good and bad all year round! Parents have an obligation to insure their children’s moral behavior by correcting them and mostly by their exemplary lifestyle.
Children learn constructively when they see how their Mom and Dad, (and, yes, their grandparents, too!), resolve problems in a loving way. They strengthen their family ties when they have dinner together, as well as participate in recreational events together. These experiences will positively impact their children’s future and it will also help to build a strong moral foundation while playing and working in the outside world.
Children are precious gifts from God. They are very impressionable and require love, patience, and wise honorable teachings. Never alienate them from church, religious education and charitable examples. When people are happy with who they are, they will not wish for the eternal youth and riches that lack spiritual transformation. Let the love of Jesus and Mary be the hallmark of your family life.
During the month of September, we celebrate the birth of Our Blessed Mother, September 8; the Exaltation of the Cross, September 14th; Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, September 29th.
Our Lady of Fatima warned us against sin and pagan behavior. Pagans offered human sacrifice. Please pray for the banning of abortion and euthanasia. Abortion and partial birth abortion are infanticide and they are a contradiction to God’s Commandments. Pray for peace and the respect of life.
Log onto to www.americaneedsfatima.org for location of the October 11th, 2008 worldwide Public Rosary Rally at noon, and be sure to participate in this act of reparation and prayer. Thank you for your assistance in helping to make it successful!
Your companion in prayer, Mary
Heavenly Father, you create us in your own image and you desire that not even the least among us should perish. In your love for us, you entrusted your only Son to the holy Virgin Mary. Now, in your love, protect the unborn to whom you have given the gift of life.
Your companion in prayer,