Sometimes I Feel Like Sarah Connor

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I have to remind myself sometimes to refrain from immersion in current events, politics, and social issues because I swell up with machine-like resolve and start thinking of myself as a Sarah Connor, the fictional mom in the Terminator films who transformed from a timid victim to a hardened warrior on the verge of losing touch with her own humanity. She knew Judgement Day was coming, and her son would have to fight evil mightily. She knew she had to prepare and protect him.

I don’t think I’m the only mom that conjures up such an image. We lay awake at night wondering what kind of battles our children will face as adults. Will they lose faith? Will they be hurt? Will they be warriors? Will they be martyrs? Will they be ready? Are we doing enough to take a stand as Catholics? No kidding, there are nights when I feel compelled to rise and do chin-ups on the door frame to flex some muscle (though I’d faint after three).

I have learned, instead, to pray. As awful as I may think some current events are, this world still belongs to God. If I believe that Christ healed the sick, commanded demons, and died and rose for the salvation of souls, then in faith I need to guard against despair and overwhelming ferocity. Remember what the centurion in Capernaum said to Jesus when he wanted his servant to be healed? He had great faith. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” He also had humility. That last part reminds me of St. Francis’ advice, “Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.”

Surely in some ways we do need to become a legend among the resistance, to warn that humanity is doomed to self-destruction if they don’t listen, and to store up a proverbial cache of weapons for our children if there is a rise of the machines; but mostly what we need to do is to accept the graces and abundances offered now in this time of our own lives. We do need to fight, but we can’t let ourselves become so steeled we forget we are human.

Even so, I wouldn’t mind having her deltoids, and I admit I rather like imagining myself standing strong with a steady gaze across the landscape as I prepare to defend and inspire my children, but without the cigarette and Commando rifle.

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  1. We shape the future as parents:

    “Sarah Connor: Reese. Why me? Why does it want me?
    Kyle Reese: There was a nuclear war. A few years from now, all this, this whole place, everything, it’s gone. Just gone. There were survivors. Here, there. Nobody even knew who started it. It was the machines, Sarah.
    Sarah Connor: I don’t understand.
    Reese: Defense network computers. New… powerful… hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination.
    Sarah Connor: Did you see this war?
    Kyle Reese: No. I grew up after. In the ruins… starving… hiding from H-K’s.
    Sarah Connor: H-K’s?
    Kyle Reese: Hunter-Killers. Patrol machines built in automated factories. Most of us were rounded up, put in camps for orderly disposal.
    [Pulls up his right sleeve, exposing a mark]
    Kyle Reese: This is burned in by laser scan. Some of us were kept alive… to work… loading bodies. The disposal units ran night and day. We were that close to going out forever. But there was one man who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those metal mothers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink. His name is Connor. John Connor. Your son, Sarah, your unborn son.”

  2. You may recall that in the second Terminator movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg has switched sides and is now trying to SAVE John and Sarah Connor from being killed by a different, more advanced cyborg (with the ability to turn into liquid metal and other cool special effects) programmed to kill them.

    Now, here is a comedy sketch from “Mad TV” — a fake “trailer” for a movie called “The Greatest Action Story Ever Told” — in which Arnold goes back in time to save Jesus from being crucified! It’s actually, in my opinion, pretty funny because Jesus keeps trying to explain to the Terminator that he’s SUPPOSED to die for the sins of mankind, but Ahnold doesn’t listen (where have we heard that story before?):

  3. Although this is a comedy sketch, I think it does have some relation to the topic of this post, in that as much as we WANT to save our children from all suffering and hardship, we cannot and should not.

  4. Although this is a comedy sketch, I think it does have some relation to the topic of this post, in that as much as we WANT to save our children from all suffering and hardship, we cannot and should not.
    How will our children know that we love them?

  5. The Judas shootings scene was very funny. Thanks for the laugh.

    As to the subject of the post, I am interested in Colonial and Revolutionary War history and have often considered the reactions of fathers and sons as the world began to spin out of control.

    Colonials knew That the English had not dealt kindly with rebels, particularly commoners. Would-be patriots certainly expected that, unless they won, the English would have punished them mightily.

    I like to think I would have set aside my interests to join what must have seemed to be an almost hopeless cause. It was probably easier to do if one didn’t have a wife and children that would be exposed by one’s action.

    I was 17 when I joined the Navy. At some level I knew I was exposing myself to harm. It was a subject that came up on occasion. It seemed remote though, something that happened to other people. Bravado alone made it easy to say that death was nothing to fear.

    I’m sure many Colonials felt the same, sitting with their mates in a tavern, drinking and singing, it must have been easy for them to damn King George and bravely call out the English army. How for the men with families, crops, shops full of wares, babies on the way, and ailing parents?

    My guess is that men in my position feared war, not for their sake but for those that God put in their charge. And yet they exposed all of that for a cause that must have seemed, at times, hopeless. What kind of men were these? Would I have been one of them? I like to think so but, looking at my bright-eyed and innocent 5 year old, I’m not sure.

    So pray, pray, pray… Not that you will be willing to lay down your life, but the lives and safety of those for whom you are responsible if God calls for it.

  6. “How for the men with families, crops, shops full of wares, babies on the way, and ailing parents?”

    Many of them saw service during the war as militia. During the war about 100,000 men saw service in the Continental Army and about 250,000 saw service as militia called out to fight. Fairly impressive for an adult male population of less than a million.

  7. I do sometimes feel like Sarah Connor, especially when you try to talk to people about things happening in this country and the world, or when you try to talk about what the Catholic Church teaches on moral issues. Many look at you like you’re crazy. They don’t want to see anything, hear anything and they will not speak up and defend anything.

    This part of Mr McClarey’s comment: “Reese: Defense network computers. New… powerful… hooked into everything, trusted to run it all. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination” is very interesting. Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?

    I can’t do much of the physical stuff, but I can speak up and pray and try to live my life like Christ wants us to. Yes, I am a member of the “Church Militant”!

  8. I think the willingness to give over one’s children affects number of religious too.

    It is easier to give over a son or daughter to the religious life if you have nine kids than it is when you have one. There is a calculation to be made in how encouraging we are for those entering the religious life. There is a question for most of us on how much sacrifice we are willing to bear. When you have only one son, it is harder to imagine him becoming a priest than when you have five. When you have two children, it is harder to encourage a daughter to enter the religious life.

    I suspect that no small part of God’s plan is letting Him control the number of kids we have. This is probably true, at least in part, because our having children is an essential first step to His evangelization.

  9. I very much liked the Patriot Don. Heck, I liked something about every Mel film I’ve seen.

    Satan worked powerful hard to render his talents impotent.

  10. We could use more Sarah Connors – men and women, kids and even old ladies in nursing homes who pray. We can chooser to fight on many fronts with whatever gifts and insights we have been given. lLike Churchill’s often quoted comment about all the places we will fight– we have to fight socially, culturally, Spiritually and even physically

    “not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

  11. I’m not sure that, even after all of our fervent prayers and peaceful political action, the Church will not need Sarah and Sam Connors if the current persecution of the Catholic Church continues. We are really only a couple big steps away from the situation the Cristeros found themselves in before they had to fight for their right to worship. Our beliefs are being singled out for elimination by the secularists in society. Remember, we don’t know what God will need us for or when.:-) I guess I’ll be getting in a couple pull-ups and some aerobics, and stay vigilant while praying and remaining forthright in insisting on the right to our beliefs. That’s what I see in Sarah Connor — an understanding of the enemy she faces and vigilance. We just need to be equally vigilant about expressing our joy in the Lord and in the wonderful life He’s given us. We need to keep our humanity and love.

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