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The Catholic Defender: Man In Black

Recently I was listening to a song by Johnny Cash that really touched many people for what that represented in his life. He became more religious in his later life and his appeal to fans continued to grow even after his death in 2003.

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black Why you never see bright colors on my back And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town I wear it for the prisoner who is long paid for his crime But is there because he's a victim of the times

I wear the black for those who've never read Or listened to the words that Jesus said About the road to happiness through love and charity Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back Up front there ought to be a Man In Black

I wear it for the sick and lonely old For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been Each week we lose a hundred fine young men

And I wear it for the thousands who have died Believin' that the Lord was on their side I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died Believin' that we all were on their side

Well, there's things that never will be right I know And things need changin' everywhere you go But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right You'll never see me wear a suit of white

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day And tell the world that everything's okay But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back 'Til things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black

If you think about the lyrics of this song, Johnny Cash was hitting upon something that kind of goes over our heads because it is about his life and attitude towards life. But if you really think about it, every Parish priest can make this their song as well. The Catholic priest wear the black to show that they are a sign for the world.

Wearing black symbolizes humility and simplicity that typifies living the gospel life. Jesus said that if you want to be a leader for Him, you would have to be a servant. The bible instructs us to imitate their faith which will show us the way as they represent death and mourning in this life. We are to die to ourselves and decrease so that Jesus may increase in our lives. The priest it to live his life being called to take up the cross in a daily relationship with Our Lord. We are to die to sin so that Jesus will give us life through His grace.

We are to be set apart from the ways of the world and there are so much darkness out there that people experience. Our Lord offers redemption and the priest through the Sacraments brings back many who are dead back to life. The priest points our hearts towards heaven by living the gospel message in their lives. Black represents that reality so that when ever you see a priest they are a constant reminder that we too should live our state in life in the same way.

I remember flying back from Iraq and meeting people in airports who cheered for me because of my military service. I have taken the opportunity to thank police officers I see on the street for the things they are responsible. I would also thank those who take care of the sick. Well, often times I will also thank a priest for their faith and their witness. We definitely need to pray for the Catholic priest as they are under attack from the enemy.


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