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Pearl City, HI, United States

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Playing the Instrument of Peace


Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation

Copyright © 2019
by Ralph F. Couey


Lord make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
--St. Francis of Assisi

It is not news that the world we live in has become consumed in conflict, both verbal and physical.  And as usual, there are innocent victims.  In this country, political passions are at a fever pitch.  Words of anger and condemnation, and threats of violence are being hurled from both sides.  The possibility of armed conflict has moved from the laughable to the possible.

The United States is no longer united, rent by a chasm that deepens and widens with each passing day, a wound that may never fully heal.

There was a time when a church was a place of refuge from the acidity outside, a true sanctuary of peace.  But now the passions of politics have invaded our churches. Words of anger and division are beginning to be heard from the pulpit.  Rather than rising above conflict, we are now mired deeply within it.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Night, Cold and Cruel

Copyright 2019 Kansas City Star

Copyright © 2019
by Ralph F. Couey
Text only

And then, it was over.  The season which had been so spectacular, so full of hope and promise ended as the Patriots running back tumbled into the end zone.  The atmosphere inside Arrowhead Stadium which had been painfully loud was suddenly vented into silence with the finality of a burst balloon.

We stood there, some 70,000 red-clad fans, shocked into disbelief.  In the sudden quiet we could clearly hear the Patriots players celebrating on the field, and their retinue of traveling fans whooping it up in the stands.  The realization sunk home.  Our team had lost yet another winnable playoff game.  The persistent cold, which our passion and excitement had held at bay for those many hours at last made itself felt.  Once again, the hearts of Chiefs fans lay in shattered pieces.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

At Last!

"Victory belongs to the most persevering."
--Napoleon Bonaparte

Copyright © 2019
by Ralph F. Couey

There is an incipient sense of unreality permeating those abused souls who call themselves fans of the Kansas City Chiefs.  The game is over, the score is official.  Arrowhead Stadium has been drained of fans.  Yet, in years past, such a situation was fraught with sadness and frustration after watching yet another playoff collapse.

But not tonight.

The Chiefs won a home playoff game.  And won it decisively for only the second time in a quarter-century.  Fans of other teams, particularly the Patriots, will find the resulting joy puzzling.  But no fans in the NFL have been put through the emotional ringer like we have.  I won't recount all the previous disasters since the networks spent a lot of time today dissecting that mournful trend.  But all week Reid, Mahomes, and Company were telling us the same thing:  The past doesn't matter.  We weren't here for that, but we're here now and this is going to end differently.  And they were right.

The Chiefs dominated in every aspect of the game, as the stats so graphically illustrate.  After those first three three-and-outs, the Colts were never really in this one.  But there were moments when Chiefs fans felt the brush of the wings of death flapping around our shoulders.  A blocked punt that became a touchdown.  A fumble deep in Chiefs territory that gave Indy the ball inside the 20.  A late drive capped off by a long bomb to the end zone.  The Chiefs offense shut out in the second half until a garbage time TD.  All those things had happened before.  Insurmountable leads were surrendered, with the opponents scoring on horribly unusual plays that could only have been dreamed up by Rod Serling.  But that scenario, that Shakespearean drama did not suddenly appear.  The time ticked down to zero, catching the Colts unable to run a last play, again something that happened to us in the past.  

Suddenly, without warning it almost seemed, the game was over.  The Chiefs... had WON!!!