Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Party at Mel's Place

Out and about in the e-world, I have made several comments about being ready for the Mass to return to Latin. It's been a joke, really, and I didn't intend to make any suggestions for the church to follow, yet today Pope Benedict XVI delivered his homily in Latin. I really don't know how common an activity this is at the Vatican, so perhaps I sigh a bit too soon.

I made a comment on Peter's Cross Station about my plan to blog about my relationship with the Catholic Church and my relationship with the Episcopalian Church, and I will do that soon. But let me relate quickly a brief interlude between my mother and me just before the conclave began. I repeated the saying about a fat pope and thin pope, and I how I was praying really hard we'd get a nice big fatso jolly holy-rolly-poley pope this time. And I started to get tears in my eyes, and my mom, welling up in unison, just nodded and said, "Me too." We both knew what was at stake.

My grandmother, with whom I had a wonderful relationship, imparted to me a gift of faith too. My personal belief in God, and how I practice that belief has steered me through some rough patches in my life. That's so cliche, I am almost sorry I typed it, but it's too true to not say. This super Gramma also taught me that the church is not a priest, and I should never forget that. Remember a long time I wrote about Tante Folie? Apparently in her early foray into fundamentalism was prompted by an argument with a man of the cloth, so she left the church. This rather disgusted my Gramma. She more or less told me that I should keep my eye on the prize, and if I didn't like the priest, go to a different Mass.

And it's been good advice. I've had my priest horror stories; what practicing Catholic hasn't? But I've some glory priest stories too. A monk who helped me understand compassion and hospitality. A friar who let me see joy and playfulness, even during Mass. A diocesan priest who heard my concerns about being gay and being Catholic, and told me that if I left the Catholic church, he'd be poorer for it and it would be a loss for the whole church. Wow. Those are quick drafts of good-uns.

So I understand that I need to give this new dude some time. I understand that I need to think about why I go to Mass. For the Pope? Heck no! But I can't deny the influence he's going to have on us on all, and I can't help but thinking that over at Mel Gibson's place, there's a party going on right now.

Next post: my heart torn asunder. (For comic relief, review my first choice pope choice here.)


Blogger Soul Searching said...

Wow, Gramma came with the wisdom! I think that’s a very important point that a lot of people miss…not only in the church, but in every day life. We’re a society that seeks to label everything, and these labels really do assist in forming impressions in all of us. But with religion it’s so personal and very easy to be close-minded about. People defend their own religion by finding flaws in other religions when ultimately we’re all basically seeking the same thing. We have to keep looking forward and hold on to our beliefs, and be ready to encounter some who will guide us and accept us and value us as people, and some who will be destructive to themselves and others – including the church. We choose those we keep in our lives and those we try to forget.

These past few posts have been great!

I ordered a couple of the books you had on your spring break book list: “Little Children” and “Almost French”. In 2 weeks classes will be over and I’ll be all over the books, so if you have any other suggestions please send!

8:54 PM  
Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

Ms. Soul-- I think you are right on with the defense of religion thing-- and it's something that annoys me a titch about our Episcopalian church we attend: there's a lot of Catholic church bashing and it annoys me. No one at the Catholic church we attend bashes the Episcopalian church to me, and it's not because the Episcopalian church is so perfect either... More on this, I promise. Thanks for the super comment. I can send some more book suggestions-- what kind of thing do you want to read?? I *LOVE* suggesting books!

1:22 PM  

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