Thursday, October 25, 2007

NICE, NEAT, CLEAN, RESPECTABLE CHRISTIANITY

I don’t know why people think they have to look to the Devil and the dark side to come up with scary All-Hallows-Eve costumes. Scripture and tradition have their own stable of people and beasts that if you saw them in a dark alley you would probably shock your shorts.

Fortunately those who celebrate this day in a Christian manner only pick nice, respectable saints, not some of those reprobate saints that go around carrying their own heads, or skin, or other body parts. I mean that is just so not done in polite society. And those instruments of their martyrdom with which they are all parading around in heavenly pageantry. Most of them would not be allowed in Church in the state of Ohio for carrying knives, swords, arrows, grills, pinchers, and wheels with spikes on them. Real saints carry flowers or palm branches. That’s what I want to see if I’m dying and going to heaven. Not a bunch of rascals with instruments of torture. One could get the wrong idea of where one has ended up.

Then there are those animals of Scripture. Some are Okay like the animals on the ark, or sheep, or the ox and ass, well, except for that one that talks. Whoever heard of a talking ass? (Don’t go there.) But then you have serpents, seven headed dragons, sea monsters and griffins and the like. I ask you, what business do they have being a part of Sacred Scripture? Sacred Scripture is supposed to be nice, sweet, warm and fuzzy.

Oh! OH! Then there are all those creatures from our symbolic vocabulary! The pelican that pierces its own breast to feed its young with its own blood symbolizing Jesus’ death on the cross! The phoenix that was said to inhabit the Arabian wilderness and lived to be three to four hundred years old and who, from time to time, would dive into a funeral pyre whereupon it would rise from its own ashes restored to its youth calling to mind the resurrection. And that rascally centaur who symbolizes our savage passions and excess but who also, in the life of Saint Anthony Abbot pointed out the way to reach St. Paul the Hermit in the desert. That’s just to mention a few.

Respectability. That’s what we want. Nice, neat, clean Christianity. Robes and palm branches. Very English. Maybe someone playing a harp. Safe. Polite saints not so much begging but asking nicely for candy – perhaps to give to the poor. Now that’s an All-Hallows-Eve for you.

7 comments:

James said...

nice blog, Father, I love that picture of Papa Ratzinger!

JustMe said...

I'm guessing you at least once dressed up as a pelican, Fr. V.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I'm going as the shining city on the hill this year.

Adrienne said...

"Respectability. That’s what we want. Nice, neat, clean Christianity. Robes and palm branches. Very English. Maybe someone playing a harp. Safe."

The above may be a part of what we crave but it is not what we're going to get. Oh, there will moments of order but being a Christian is a wonderful life long journey filled with pitted streets and murky ponds.

And this Italian lady wouldn't have it any other way. The Church is so messy and the Vatican doings are so entertaining -- who needs soap operas. The Holy Spirit will take of "the Church". All I have to do is sit back and watch the fun.

Rob said...

I just put on an orange shirt that says "This Is My Halloween Costume"

Adoro te Devote said...

I'm going as St. Therese of Lisieux.

:-)

My coworker is going to be a "bathtub Mary" (ask Terry about his take on those), my other coworker is going to be St. Michael, and the other, St. Cecelia.

Father Schnippel said...

We had an All Saint's Party in lieu of the more traditional scary mask party at the seminary one year. My buddy came after his namesake: St. Paul, Minnesota. Classic