I was particularly struck by something Daniel Oberreuter, the lead singer of The Thirsting, told the kids. He related the story of Fatima to them, and while I knew that when the Virgin Mary appeared to the three shepherd children and gave them a vision of Hell, I did not know that a specific message received by the children was that "more souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other
reason." Daniel mentioned that one of the children, St. Lucia, witnessed a vision that had been previously seen by St. Theresa of Avila, centuries before, where she saw "souls falling into Hell like snowflakes."
I cannot get that image out of my mind. How often have I seen snowflakes lazily making their way from the sky, twisting in the wind, only to fall upon a ground too warm for them, and met away in an instant. Imagine a human soul lost that quickly to damnation. It speaks to me that something typically associated with loveliness can signify something so incredibly sad.
This image became all the more poignant to me when I saw this come across my news feed this morning:
Why? I am no prude, and even as a photographer I have no problems shooting models in lingerie or bathing suits (my goal is to have someone look and think, "How lovely!" and not "Whoa - hot!"). But what makes people - even a city - think that a public street fair to celebrate sexual debauchery is good for the public morale?
I have seen photographs from San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair before and they are disgusting. You do not need to see them. It is enough to view the "censored" poster above and know that one of the highlights of the fair occurs on a Saturday night in a segment called "Bay of Pigs," which offers "its inventive brand of cheap and tawdry kicks, hard-core action, and dirty thrills." I find it odd that the Marriott San Francisco is an official sponsor - I can only imagine what its Mormon founder, J. Willard Marriott, must think of what his son has allowed his legacy to do.
The magnitude of the disorder present is overwhelming. I found myself tearing up, thinking of the people posing in the poster above, each a snowflake making its descent into Hell. I cried for those I know who are slaves to this type of sin, whether people I know personally or those who are in such businesses as pornography.
And for what? Flesh is corruptible, even during a person's lifetime. Put aside religion for a second - is this type of behavior "right?" Judge for a minute, don't be afraid - would you feel comfortable walking down a public street and seeing all forms of copulation going on before you, before minors? Even if you want to say, "Well, to each his/her own . . ." is there a line that can be crossed?
St. Lucia, pray for us.