Sister St. Aloysius got an unusual greeting card today. It was a picture of a handsome young man in his football uniform. His mother was proudly telling Sister about how well he's doing, his football achievements at Notre Dame High School somewhere out there in America, his lovely girlfriend and every one's plans for the future. Isn't that nice?
I mentioned it was unusual, didn't I? I guess it wasn't. The reason she knew the young man was the unusual part. When he was three, she had made a Halloween costume for his four year old sister, a Dorothy dress (as in, Dorothy Gale, the little girl who got sucked up by a tornado and dropped in Oz with her scraggly little dog). Although his sister did wear the Dorothy dress for Halloween that year, this little boy loved it. After Halloween he wore it all the time. He looked pretty funny. No one made a fuss. His mother didn't see the harm in it. She thought it might seem even more important if she didn't let him wear it.
He grew out of it. The rest is history on a Halloween card. Sister St. Aloysius was very proud of the boy and the Dorothy dress.
We still have a lot to discuss about nun's habits it seems, but in the meantime we must address this question of the day:
I have a question for you, Sister, unrelated to nuns or habits.
What a relief!
It's about sin.
My favorite topic.
I'll try to be brief.
A non-Catholic friend of mine is having a crisis about it. She's got that gluttony is a sin (one of the seven deadly!) and so is homosexuality (acting on it, that is).
So... her question, which I told her I'd ask you, is: what's the difference between going to a fat preacher's home for dinner and going to a gay couple's home for dinner? Obviously, the fat preacher overeats and is thus a glutton.
It just occurred to me about an unmarried couple living in sin. How would that be any different from either of the above?
Thanks for your time, Sister.
Holy Dorothy dress!
So your friend believes her response should be something like:
"I can't come to dinner at your house, Reverend Lardpants, because you are such a big sinner. I can meet you in a neutral place, say, the pancake house. Or we could go for a stroll."
Seriously? This is an issue for someone? How does she know that Reverend Lardpants isn't struggling with a diet? Maybe his pituitary gland blew out. Perhaps he is on some drug that causes him to blow up like a balloon. I knew a guy like that once. He was so fat his eyes swelled shut. It was some drug he was taking.
Alright, let's say Reverend Lardpants eats like a pig. We've all seen him at the church supper, inhaling the pork and beans, flinging chicken bones over his shoulder, beating Japanese men out at hot dog eating contests. Better stay away from him, don't talk to him until he passes muster on The Biggest Loser.
Jesus had some advice: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
So, tell her to go over to the Reverend's house for dinner, but be sure and take a big pile of rocks, because as far as I can tell, she's going to need them.
Jesus really didn't have a problem hanging around with sinners and felons, you may recall. I can't recall Him saying, "you're a big sinner, I can't come over."
Is she worried about it being a near occasion of sin? I didn't think non-Catholics cared about near occasions of sins. Well, you learn something new every day. Perhaps she is worried she will be compelled to gluttony, homosexuality or run off to Rio with her lover, after dinner. Ole!
We do want to avoid people and places that tempt us to sin. But by her logic, avoiding people because they are sinners, we'd pretty much have to stay home. We might have to lock ourselves in the broom closet to boot. There are big fat people all over the airport and the mall, last time I checked. We couldn't do any ministry on skid row or in prisons. The Salvation Army would have to be very careful where they set up those bell ringers with their red pots.
I might just have to pack my bags and get out of here. You should see the size of my cat.