Thinking About The Fourth Commandment

I read something this morning which had the term “filial piety” in it.  I liked the rhythm of the phrase, the balance of sound and syllable.  It was almost dance like.  Silly old guy that I am I got up and did a little waltz around the room muttering “filial Piety” in 3-4 time over and over.  You want to know something?  It worked.

I found that you can dance to Filial Piety.  On Dick Clark’s American Bandstand that would have made it a hit.  On the other hand, it does not seem the kind of song that could be made a hit of these days.  I mean could you think of “Filial Piety” being danced to in the modern version of a ballroom…a mosh pit?  Would it ever be a song sung by Lady Gaga, or her spiritual grandmother Madonna of blasphemic fame?

Now that I think of it, the very last time that a song named Filial Piety could have been written in 3-4 time and become a hit would have been back in the 1950’s.  The very last person to play it would have been Dick Clark.  Perhaps someone like Bobby Vinton or Bobby Darin would have been the very last recording artist to perform it.

Oh, something with that name might be put out now and be listened to by a zillion plugged in hoodie wearing zombies, but it would definitely not have anything to do with what I can think of as Filial Piety, and what it really means.  I picture a modern Filial Piety being performed by a group possibly named Total Destruction playing in a style called  Kroolmetal Annihilation…all the rage don’t you know..and the song beginning something like this:

Refuse, refuse, refuse to bend
break the back of fatherhood. end
and begin the death of you and him
pity pity piety weak and whining deity

Something way cool like that, you know, with a lot of screaming and slobbering and cannon loud pounding percussion going on all the time. A nice hate filled piece for the mosh pit life’s become.

Here’s what filial piety really is and really does, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
” Observing the fourth commandment brings its reward: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”8 Respecting this commandment provides, along with spiritual fruits, temporal fruits of peace and prosperity. Conversely, failure to observe it brings great harm to communities and to individuals. ”

It really is like a dance, you know.

And the sad, sad thing about it is that the music is still playing and the ballroom has slowly emptied. Now mothers don’t want to have babies. And fathers don’t want to be fathers. And children? They are not allowed to be born, to grow and learn to dance to that sweet song.

Great harm has been brought to communities and to individuals.

Just sayin’.


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