by: Fr. Nicholas A. ~ Marziani, Jr., D.Min.

About a month and a half ago I came across an opinion piece in my favorite national bona fide print-on-paper news and analysis journal, that venerable Wall Street product that informs and entertains day traders, and just plain folk like me.

The market technicals pretty much go over my head, that’s not my calling in this life, but there is an abundance of good old wisdom and common sense I generally don’t find in other large-distribution print media.

I really liked one short reflection published August 3rd by the dean and professor of English at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Paula Marantz Cohen.

Ms. Cohen wrote a nifty little piece entitled, “The Lost Art of the Apology Letter”, which detailed a thoughtful bit of correspondence a friend’s parents had received back in the 50s from a small company president concerning a mis-post of a payment they had made for a certain product.

The letter was sincere, courteous, and personal. I can’t fully develop Ms. Cohen’s thoughts about the decline of civility and courtesy in today’s world due to space considerations, but anyone from that era will remember “the way things used to be” when it came to the kind of communications that tended to help keep society glued together.

Right now I’m thinking of a much more weighty matter before the nation, allegations concerning the latest SCOTUS nominee that depict, if true, a reckless minor teenager who now aspires to the highest court in the land.

I don’t know how all that business will turn out – at this writing it’s September 17th – but two ideas come to mind. Two awesome words that go together, and need to ever stay together if we’re going to have any kind of society at all, either at the national, state or local community level.

Those words are Grace, and Repentance. Grace comes from God, it’s a gift to be received. Our response must be repentance, T’Shuvah in Hebrew (Yom Kippur is just around the corner at the moment). Acknowledge a wrong, an offence, and sincerely express regret. In short, apologize where indicated.

Whether or not Mr. Kavanaugh has done something, even in the distant past, for which to express regret and seek forgiveness from God and other humans would be appropriate, this much is certain. Our world is rife with coarseness and contempt for others who are not in our “orbit”, so to speak, and unless we remedy that, and quickly, we’ll all be in orbit around a very black hole that will ultimately draw us into perdition.

“Words to the wise . . . “ (And not just “wise-guys”).