Daily Archives: January 29, 2020
Kobe, Part III
After my first post on Kobe Bryant, I have been informed that his name apparently means something that might be Christian, or might mean something else i some language. Well, let us spend two words on it, shall we?
Firstly, I have not invented that Mr Bryant was called after the beef. I have read it around from professional journalists.
Fake news? Maybe, but when one is called Kobe, I think the journalist in question can be forgiven for it.
Secondly, and most importantly, the point I made is that the guy went around all his life without a recognisable Christian name. Whether his name meant tortoise, or Jakob, or “He who goes to Mass every cloudy Wednesday afternoon with a smile on his face” is fully besides the point. As the name is given to give testimony of one’s Christian name, it should be recognisable as such.
If I call my son “Lamborghini”, and have to explain to the world that it means “he who prays a lot in the morning” in some obscure African dialect, I have obviously failed in giving testimony of my Christian faith. Rather, I have either chose the name “Lamborghini” because I like fast cars, and want to attach to it some obscure Christian meaning, or – at the very least, and without a doubt – I have indulged in this damn habit of our times of thinking that common names are not good enough, and I must give my son a snowflake name before raising him telling him all the time what a unique, wonderful snowflake he is. We all know this happens all the time, and we all know that the obscure Christian meaning, if any, is obviously not the reason why the name was given; then the first duty of a name is to make the person with that name recognisable (as a person and, in this case, a Christian).
The problem with the word Kobe is not whether it means beef, or cat, or John The Baptist. It is that it is not recognisable as a Christian name and therefore does not give witness of the Christian faith.
Therefore, the point stays; and the blog post, too.
Kobe, Part II
The helicopter is flying in what appears to have been thick fog. The pilot is apparently not flying instrumental, but with visual aids (motorways, and such). He lands into a thick bank of fog. What can happen now is that he gets disoriented. He thinks he is flying in a certain direction, but he is flying in another. Therefore, he may fly into a hill without any warning, without any emergency.
I have tried to replay the scene in my mind and, if things have gone in this way, it seems difficult to think that there has been any warning whatsoever. Like emergency sounds, some seconds of panic, the kind of stuff that makes one recommend his soul to the Lord. We will likely know more in the coming days, but what might have happened is that the impact was just at full-speed, and without warning. This could be just one of those cases of sudden deaths, with no possibility whatever to get some extra preparation before one’s judgement.
Kobe Bryant was, thankfully, a churchgoer, and he had attended to Mass on the early morning of that day. Whilst we don’t know the state of his or his daughter’s soul, I would say that one would be justified in not being all too worried. I do not know anything about the other victims.
Worried, I was saying, compared to whom? To all our friends, acquaintances, even relatives, who do not have any sort of religious life, and whose spiritual dimension consists in believing that there “must be something”; after which they proceed to make their own religious and tell you why they, who have a very confused idea of the things in heaven, have a clear private religion concerning the things on earth.
Besides the sacramental life, in the last years I have taken the habit of saying a properly made act of contrition at least once a day, often more, as age advances and I reflect on the rapid way some of my relatives left this vale of tears. It could happen to me and to you. It could happen to a wealthy sport legend on his way to his destination via helicopter. It could happen to anyone of us, in the most improbable of circumstances.
As always, things are done well that are done by habit.
A daily act of contrition, recited as well as we can, does not take much time and can be performed pretty much everywhere.
You never know when the habit might prove of great use.