Friday, March 18, 2011

"I guess this is our last goodbye"

This old Police song, off their early album Regatta de Blanc, is certainly about adolescent angst over losing a love, or a supposed love. Nonetheless, it says something really striking about our mindset at times, our self-absorption. If being an adolescent is about anything, it is about being completely absorbed by yourself, seeing yourself as alone, unloved, unworthy, yet with a heart, that is, a desire bigger than the world.

When we become completely turned-in and obsessive about this, it can be tragic and lead to people injuring themselves, starving themselves, or even worse.

These words are particularly striking:

And you don't care so I won't cry
But you'll be sorry when I'm dead
And all this guilt will be on your head
I guess you'd call it suicide
But I'm too full to swallow my pride

My life has been touched several times by suicide. By order of magnitude, from my extended family, to friends, to people who have sought my pastoral guidance, as well as dealing with people in the aftermath of a suicide.

By His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ, shows us that we are always accompanied on our way. He shows us that love is stronger than even death. Further, He is the fulfillment of our desire, as the title of the hymn, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, indicates.

Meum cum sim pulvis et cinis


  1. Self absorbed; why is it that teens go through this. I most certainly did.

    To this day, i specifically remember thinking to myself how alone i felt, and especially by my parents. They often told me they loved me, but in my self-absorbed mind, i believed, "they had to love me, they were my parents." In some weird way, i felt that this was fake love and a coerced love somehow.

    I think back to that stupidity in my own world back then, and see how foolish i was in believing such silliness.
    And then i wonder, how can i help my children navigate through those years, as they will undoubtedly have their own questions and struggles in those years, as they try to find out whom they are in the world, searching for their own identity.

    i'm sure many parents worry about this. I certainly do.

  2. As a parent of 2 teens, one who frustrates me on daily basis, it worries me. It was funny, in one of the conversations I had with my Dad during his last weeks, he mentioned some really stupid and hurtful thing I said to him when I was young. He asked me if I had meant it. I didn't and I had forgotten I'd even said it.

    The tough thing about being a parent is that you have to teach your children that loving somebody does not mean letting them whatever they want!


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