To Have a Sister

I am the eldest of four boys, the first among a quartet of a continuing lineage, the primogenitor in the House of Skerjanec. Each of my three younger brothers represents a unique quality: Youngest, Beautiful, and Brilliant. But each of them possess something that I often take for granted—like me, they are all male.

I have a natural connection to each of them and how I can relate to them. They understand the mentality of being a guy, of being a dude, and there is the benefit of sharing the same blood and generation. Brothers are the best! Growing up, the idea of a baby sister was but a 5-year-old’s Christmas wish. I had no concept of being a brother to a sister. If one of my brothers were (are) in trouble, I’d ask if he’d need help. A rare “yes” warranted an armored hand in combat, and the typical “no” translated, “Be a big brother, Stanton, not Big Brother.” Sisters, though…I might as well have been lip-syncing the track from White Christmas with Bing.

Even up until recently, the whole “sister-in-Christ” thing was an abstract phrase used as a blanket label. A few days ago, though, I had a very interesting encounter. No, actually, I can use the word “zealous” here. It was a very zealous and heated moment. You see I have this very dear friend of mine. She and I have known each other for a few years now, and I’m always comfortable just being with her. It’s a relationship I’m somewhat unfamiliar with—not a significant other, or a brother, or a best friend or buddy. The only applicable description I had up until this exciting moment was dear and good friend.

Well, on the day of said moment she was obviously upset, and I noticed a few tears in her eyes. I approached her about it, asking if there’s something I could do, and she just needed a hug. A hug was given, and nothing else was said until I saw her later that night. Without giving me specifics, she explained what had occurred to her. I will give even less specifics, but know this: her description was enough to piss me off.

My reaction, initially, was not physical or verbal. But on the inside was a righteous indignation that wanted to physically and verbally pummel the source of the problem. I’m talking scorched-earth fury. After we had finished talking I went to the restroom and I about broke a stall door off its hinges with my foot. I’m known for being loud and easily riled-up, but it’s mostly in jest and humor. But I had not lost control of my emotions like that instance in a long time.

Explaining it is a bit tricky, but it was more primal, more brutish and vulgar in sensation. The passions of anger and hatred come to mind. It was then I realized what it meant to have a sister. It meant, at least at that moment, protection beyond capacity or control. This moment had no theory of just war—it was only a blind feeling of obliteration.

Reading over what I’ve written so far, I’ve laid out for you a rather dramatic, almost craze-infested story. I hopefully haven’t turned you away because of it. What I’m trying to convey is this: a brother to have a sister is to have a natural cause to be a man. I wanted to do nothing else but to rise to the occasion and help my sister. She is, yes, an independent woman fully capable of solving her own problems. That’s the point, though! I know she can solve them, but I am willing to put forth my own efforts so that she does not have to. I sought to put everything away and take up her cause. There was no benefit for me—I would have gained nothing. I’m not a white knight defending a fair princess love for a true romance kiss. Here there is only this one, single individual. I may not even be capable of helping her; it may be beyond my control.

It doesn’t matter. Anything that hints of harm, as I have just experienced, is to be quashed before it can do harm. Is that overreacting? Yes, but I think that’s ok. After all, this is my cause for manhood. Why shouldn’t I be over the top? My desire is driven beyond the reasoned rebuke to a violation of justice. Reasoned rebukes are the talk of generals, senators, and presidents. Here there is only my sister, my fraternal desire to guard, and would-be threats to her.

And would ya look at that? I’m right there in between, just as I should. 

Healthy Families, Healthy Church.

Healthy Families, Healthy Church.

This past Sunday, December 28, 2014, was the feast of the Holy Family. The following is a reflection on the importance of the family in the Church.

Christ is the head of the Church. The Sacraments are the heart of the Church, constant, in rhythm, giving life to the body. Now allow me to suggest that the family is the blood of the Church. The family, founded in the heart, the sacrament of matrimony, is then pumped through the entire body, rejuvenating and bringing life to the whole Church.