Wednesday, January 30, 2008
St. Florence Syndrome
I have been diagnosed with a debilitating illness. Poor me. It seems I have Crazy Nun Syndrome. I should have known when the symptoms reared their ugly heads. Shooting off my mouth, making things up about Abe Lincoln to make people feel better about themselves. So obvious.
Luckily there is a cure. Shut up and stand corrected.
There IS a St. Florence. There is not one St. Florence in fact, but quite a haul of Saints Florence.
I did look for St. Florence before I put my foot in my mouth. I just did not look very well. Poor me. Poor St. Florence....Saints Florence. Poor old fool. Me. Not St. Florence, any of them.
I can forgive myself on one level. I could have done something really detrimental, like told you it was okay to skip Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation, which would land both of us in Hell, me for telling you something I know isn't true that causes you to go to Hell and you, for skipping off taking my word for it and missing Mass. Frankly, my sin would be the worse of the two.
I didn't get up at the Mike and Mike Roast on ESPN and swill vodka and take the Lord's Name in vain.
But that's no excuse is it? I don't think it is. I'd rather not have that other affliction, "Next Guy Syndrome" either. You know the one...."Well, at least I'm not THAT GUY. I'm not as bad as THAT GUY." What a sorry judgemental way to let oneself off the hook for one's shortcomings.
Anyhow, I should have known there was at least one St. Florence in heaven, which brings me to today's question:
In great kindness, one more question please:
I'm planning on joining a traditional order of nuns. In most of these orders the sisters take a religious name with their vows. Would this name be considered in preference to the confirmation name, or under it?
Also, after thinking about it, I wonder if confirmation name would be more like either your first name or surname in heaven. Just a thought. After all, if your parents named you after Saint Therese, and you are confirmed as Catherine, why ditch dear St. Therese? Shouldn't it be 'the more the merrier'? I am certain the saints in heaven are happy to share the load of patronage--being saints, they don't get jealous.
This is a POSER! Here's why. All these years women who became nuns took a new name, or were given a new name. St. Bernadette, for example, was given a new name as a nun, because her Mother Superior thought Bernadette was a stupid babyfied name. I imagine that a nun's 'nun' name is the name she'll be called in heaven, as opposed to her old Baptismal name, since as a nun she becomes the spouse of Christ.
But it's not that simple. For one thing, there are a slew of nuns who changed their names back to their Baptismal names after Vatican II. I don't know what in heaven's name happened to cause that, but they did it when they changed into their 'modern' habits (with the little veils and the 'nun bangs'). New outfit, old name. Go figure.
A fellow novice of mine, who had been Sister Mary Arthen, did not change her name. Her name was Florence and she told me that when she was a girl, everyone called her "Flossie", a cow's name. I tried to tell her that she must be thinking of "Elsie", the Borden glue cow. But there was a "Flossie" and no one in there right mind would want to be named after her.
Proof that Sister Mary Arthen did not have Crazy Nun Syndrome.
I would say that she is definitely in heaven (and be guilty of "St. Florence Syndrome"-stating something as a fact when you actually don't know what you're talking about) as she was just the bees knees and I'm just sure God wants her there singing to Him, even though while she was on earth she sang really, really badly after her throat went into a steering wheel when she plowed the convent car into the side of the convent. I don't know why that happened. Perhaps she was swerving to avoid hitting a cow. It WAS a rural area.
And in heaven, no one is married. That might make her Flossie again.
What was your question?
Oh yes. I remember now. I think 'the more the merrier' and be prepared to answer to anything up there. Over there. Wherever it is.
Everyone thinks heaven is 'up' because Jesus ascended into heaven, but the Church doesn't believe heaven is in any particular direction. The general thinking is that the reason Jesus went UP was to show that He was LEAVING, that He was gone. If He went down, people might think He went to Hell and if He just walked away, everyone would have thought He was around somewhere. (He is, but not like that.) So He went up, so no one would be confused as to His whereabouts.