Monday, 7 November 2011

Be frightened,be very frightened

 Why is it that our news organisations now seem intent on causing panic at every opportunity? In the last week we have been presented with deadly mutations of the 'flu virus, a coming 'Siberian' winter and even an asteroid on collision course with Earth, each of course exaggerated out of all proportion. Are we really so jaded as a society that we need this kind of constant hyped-up excitement posing as information? News presented as titillation and entertainment seems to be order of the day - it's hardly surprising some people view the worship of the Church as 'boring' - it's not high octane enough for our over-stimulated senses. The 'ritualised passion' of the Mass requires a clear head and a mind and body attuned to reflection.
But the story of the boy who cried wolf springs to mind; when there is a genuine emergency, no one will believe it.

Truly frightening were the reports of the fatal pile-up on the M5 motorway near Taunton - a terrible tragedy. Two of those killed were faithful communicants and well known to me from my title parish, the parish in which I served after my diaconal ordination. Please pray for the souls of all those killed and especially for Pam and Tony Adams. [report here] 
We don't yet know the cause of Friday's crash (thick smoke from nearby Bonfire Night celebrations, rather than seasonal fog or excessive speed seems to be the most likely explanation), but if you regularly travel on the British motorway system in bad weather, you will probably agree that it's surprising these multiple collisions are not much more frequent. Slow down in poor visibility and you will be overtaken by large numbers of those, presumably confident of the strength of their headlights and the speed of their reactions, who plough on regardless at speeds of 80 or 90 mph or more, ignoring the risk to themselves and other more careful drivers.  Madness.

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