Blessed are the Courteous by Vince Cornell
“Practice the Virtue of Courtesy.” That was the message written over the picture of a face mask on the sign taped to the entrance door of the church. As far as COVID-19 weddings go, it was not as bad as I had anticipated. The wedding party, praise God, chose at the last second to not wear the face masks during the ceremony, although they did whip them on whenever they were seated, and the presiding priest never used one, although his two assistants did. It was the sign, though, that was most offensive.
That face masks are terrible is a case to be made on many fronts. Yes, they are demeaning. Yes, they are ineffectual as numerous studies have shown and the simple fact that everywhere they’ve been mandated the cases of Coronavirus only increase, never decrease. Yes, the way in which they are used is the same as any other superstitious talisman, as if a lucky rabbit foot keychain might also protect one from the dreaded COVID. Yes, they are leading weak-minded people to develop bizarre neurosis and likely impacting the social development of young children. Yes, they are a symbol of submission that tyrannical governments are forcing on a cowardly people because they’ve not yet got up the gumption to outright stamp the human face with a combat boot for all eternity.
All this is true, but it was the sign requesting courtesy that broke this camel’s back.
It’s an argument that has been used by the social activist/humanist Christian crowd, from NIH Chief Francis Collins to practically all of the American bishops – in order to practice charity one must wear the face mask! Like so many other things in this humpty-dumpty world of modern man, words are used to mean their complete opposite.
Sitting in a church filled with perfectly healthy people all wearing masks, I could not imagine anything more divisive and uncharitable. How can it be charitable to tell everyone within proximity that, whether they are sick or not, one will assume they are little more than a disease-infested threat and will take preemptive action to protect one’s own self from their pestilence? Is it charitable to say, without exception, “I refuse to breathe the same air as you”? Is it virtuous to refuse to share one’s smile with others? Can anyone imagine the great saints that waded hip deep into human misery and illness, such as St. Damien of the Lepers or St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli of Monte Calvario, demanding their convalescents put on their face masks before agreeing to come within six feet of their persons? Should we take seriously pleas for charity from medical directors who peddle vaccines created from aborted fetal tissue and bishops who fall all over themselves to congratulate pro-abortion Catholic politicians when the ascend to power?
Yes, prudence is a virtue, but courtesy is not. And prudence must be governed by fortitude and authentic charity. Whatever the future holds, I wish everyone a very Merry and very Mask-less Christmas!