Thursday, March 5, 2015


I forgot to take the street sign down after the Diocesan wide Night of Confessions last night and so went out this morning to wheel it onto the rectory porch.  (We had a steady stream for all three hours by the way – with four priests hearing confessions.  Fr. P. came over for dinner after and very late because he went 45 minutes over at St. Paul.)  The taking down of the sign reminded me of my days of assistant manager of the West Theatre, owned and operated by the Slovenian Community of Barberton, Ohio.

It was (it’s now a storage facility) a single screen, large neighborhood movie theater.  Thursday night was always a busy night.  While the week’s movie was playing for the final time, we were busy erasing any trace of its existence.  The marquee was changed (swaying old ladder that took out bulbs on windy days) switching out posters, storing away displays, and in general whetting people’s appetite for the next thing - the old movie being “so two hours ago.”
How exactly opposite the Mass is.  Movie are, “FORGET!  LOOK AT THE SHINY NEW THING!  KEEP RUNNING!”  The Mass is, “REMEMBER!  LOOK AT THIS THING THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD!  SLOW DOWN!”  We don’t put out a new, slick poster, we haul out the old manger scene.  We don’t cast our gaze longingly at some new star, but among the saints who have been around like old friends. 
I’m not sure where I’m going with this.  This dichotomy just seemed interesting as this little chore was performed.  “And how many lessons have you failed to learn from such experiences because you did not spiritualize them?”

1 comment:

Chris P. said...

This is actually one of my favorite things about being Catholic. I mean, I like a good rollicking concert and shiny flashy lights and stuff but the Mass is so genuine and historically similar that it's... I guess I don't know how I planned to finish this thought but it was to lead into my next thought so I'll just go there....

We have virtual communities and computers and telephones and all these things, but the Parish and the Mass is at the center of this historical and authentic community that is both genuinely local and genuinely global.

I went on my honeymoon last year and was in Mexico and was taken by how many Mayan souvenirs are made in Guatemala.... or the most painful one for me - I lost a scapular changing clothes to swim in a cenote. So, no biggie, it was an "Our Lady of Guadalupe" scapular, I WAS IN MEXICO, problem easily solved. Then I was sold a Scapular that wasn't made in Mexico... which bugged me... because one of the great joys of the Church is this authentic, genuine nature. The whole world is so cynical these days, that I feel like offering something so genuine is something we don't take advantage of enough. I wish I had an answer.