Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Bogey Man in Austria

Can any lessons be drawn from the horror story coming out of Austria at present?

That a girl was held for years in a cellar and gave birth
children there through the abuse at the hands of Josef Fritzl is hideous.
The numerous old nursery stories like Little Red Riding Hood taught children about evil
but more than balanced the evil with illustrations of the goodness of the human spirit
that invariably prevailed over evil. Yet Josef is probably mentally ill; his actions are evil
but he as a human being, is damaged by his illness.

To be incarcarated for 24 years without natural light and forced to bear
children by the very person most in a family would look to for protection and love,
is the personification of the worst of human nightmares.

Where is the goodness of the human spirit in all this? Perhaps it is
in the process of manifesing itself; perhaps it will come out in the children's
reactions or those of others; perhaps and in my view probably, the father was
so badly mentally ill that he was unable to appreciate the cruelity of his actions.

Who knows? Probably no one now but some enlightenment might in the years ahead,
strike the many who now dispair at the depths of man's inhumanity to man. Maybe this
will occur when the damaged family itself starts on the long path to some recovery.
Meanwhile as always, there is hope and healing through prayer - whatever that
means.

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