Friday, November 03, 2006
I felt sort of bad that my eyes glazed over when Sister St. Aloysius was explaining how making brownies on All Souls Day was the ultimate sacrifice for her so I asked her about it again. It was wonderful that I did that, because the consequent suffering on my behalf had to have blown the roof off Purgatory, at least for the half an hour that followed.
She explained that the more uncomfortable she made herself, whether purposefully or by accident, the more she could offer for the Poor Souls. Giving away her favorite treat is just the top of the iceberg. She didn't actually assign a value for her sacrifices, but I will, in order to explain her thinking.
I'm not sure if it's not more math than theology but here goes:
How to Score Sister St. Aloysius' Suffering:
1. The Brownies are made from scratch. 100 points.
If you use a mix, it's a tablespoon of water and an egg, stir, blob into a pan. Voila! Delicious brownies. Made from scratch, the brownies involve melting chocolate pieces (on my really clean stove, 50 points for me), and quite a few more ingredients that must be measured.
2. She measured everything. 100 points.
Sister Saint Aloysius is one of those natural cooks who doesn't measure much of anything left to her own devices.
3. She gives the brownies away. 100 points.
She loves brownies more than anything but will not so much as taste the batter or lick anything off her fingers.
Now, we can't really award points to suffering, but here's how her theory works if we were to break it down mathmatically:
If she were to have simply make brownies from a box she would only make 100 points for having given them away (#3). She likes to cook and brownies from a box are an enjoyable easy treat.
Now she has 300 points instead of 100 points because she added #1 and #2.
She purposely made the brownies from a recipe she had never seen before so she would be forced to measure everything. That ups the points for #2. I'll add 50.
She was made the brownies from a very promising recipe she found in a fancy magazine she saw in the doctor's office while waiting for Sister Mary Fiacre's cholesterol results, making the no taste/give away factor all the more high. I'll add another 75.
She burned her thumb. hmmmm..........25 points..........it wasn't bad. She was joyful about it. 25 more points.
She spilled flour down the front of herself and was very upset about how stupid she was for not wearing an apron. Minus 10 points.
She worked even more slowly with no apron and made sure she didn't spill anything else on herself just to make it harder. Plus 15 points.
Teddy loves chocolate. I know animals aren't supposed to eat chocolate, but Teddy eats chocolate whenever he can get away with it and he's not dead yet. Maybe it's only dogs who aren't supposed to eat it. Maybe every time he eats it he's giving up one of his nine lives. She gave the spoon to Teddy. The spoon that had the only taste of the fabulous new recipe on board. The wonderfulness of it was not even lost on Teddy who can purr really, really loudly.
Listening to Teddy purr over the chocolate, 30 points. Feeling jealousy toward a cat, minus 40.
(I am often jealous of Teddy. No one can sleep like that guy.)
It didn't end there. The brownies smell great when they're cooking, they have to cool and be cut and wrapped up to give away. 300 more points.
She made a double batch. This doubles all the points she has received so far.
She wrapped each brownie individually to give away, 300 more points. She used that horrible cling wrap that constantly clings to itself. 1000 points. It was the expensive decorated kind. Minus 50 points.
She was very proud of her beautiful, individually wrapped, made from scratch from a fancy recipe brownies. Minus 400.
She saved one brownie out for Sister Mary Fiacre. Plus 400.
What's her score?
I don't know.
It doesn't matter since I made it up anyhow and since we don't even know how much suffering it would take to free a soul,the math is all moot.
I do understand her thinking, although it gave me a headache. Oh joy! 500 points.