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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nunsense
















Sr. MM, instead of giving up something for lent perhaps you could watch that soap every day. It sounds penitential enough! And in defense of the nuns for their rotten fact checking - I suspect they are in the same boat as most mothers (at least the teaching nuns) and have answered too many questions. Once I have reached my limit I just make up the answers and they get more and more absurd. It's the brains defense mechanism.

I'm happy to report that my mother is very much improved and I will be returning home next week. I'm sure I will have some penitential hunks of time on the way, between having to leave and what happens when I return. Sometimes I think perhaps if we had Sister St. Aloysius' eyes checked, the house would be in better shape. Maybe I'll just take off my own glasses and have a nap.

Meanwhile, I am watching that soap opera every day. Yesterday the main Irish Catholic family's mother (not the mooder that dropped dead) was strolling around in the park with the man she had had an affair with years ago, a union that produced a son that she apparently passed off as her Irish Catholics husband's until one day the son, who was a cop, was about to shoot his real father, who is a wealthy criminal mastermind of some type, and the Irish Catholic mother had to shout, "Don't shoot him! He's your father!" No one was happy.

We can all relate.

As painful as it was to hear this story, it was made all the more cringy bad by the fact that it was all being told to the couple's grand daughter, who was chirpily asking how her father came to be. She was hanging on every word of the sordid tale like the child in "Princess Bride". At least she was not a child, this girl. I'm not sure what happened to her, if she was in a prison camp or something, to be so thin. I'll have to ask my mother what happened to her.

WHAT AM I SAYING!!!???? I don't want to know. The rest of the soap opera family is on an airplane that is about to crash because it is "February sweeps", according to my mother, so hopefully they'll all be gone by the end of the week, into the briny deep, as they are now over the Atlantic Ocean.

I had to comment about this reader's other comment:
...And in defense of the nuns for their rotten fact checking - I suspect they are in the same boat as most mothers (at least the teaching nuns) and have answered too many questions. Once I have reached my limit I just make up the answers...
Yes.

But it's not that simple. It would be one thing if the nun just blew her cork and told the kids that lions live in the park and that's why they shouldn't walk there at night. That wouldn't be good, but the kids would be safer. The problem comes in when the nun is telling the kids about the tenets of the Catholic Church and blows her cork and makes things up.

1. Parents who give their children up to the clergy or religious life get a free pass to heaven.

I would have sworn that was true.

2. Your Confirmation name is the name you'll be called in heaven.

This one makes some sense to me. But it's made up.

3. Animals do not go to heaven.
I stand by this one along with St. Thomas Aquinas, but the Church is actually mute on the subject.

The list goes on.

I understand how it happens.

I've often heard people complain that the Catholic Church has so many rules and so many things to remember. But the Church doesn't sit around making up rules for the fun of it. We just have to answer so many questions.

We used to get this type of thing:
"Sister, I have to fast before Communion. Say I am playing with a blade of grass bewteen my thumbs, making it into a whistle and I accidently swallow it and then I go to Communion. Is that a sin?"

Do you think the Church has a Canon Law for the accidental swallowing of grass whistles before Communion? Should I just put my fingers in my ears and sing, "La! La! La! La!" until you go away?

No. I have to come up with an answer. There is an answer. (Hint: sin is about intent.)

But if I snap and give you an absurd answer (Jesus loves grass whistles, why, when He was a child He often played with grass whistles and was thinking about them on Palm Sunday, like Orson Wells at the end of "Citizen Kane"), how can you tell that answer from when I tell you it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday? Purgatory for me.

Some of you may have noticed that from time to time a nun simply disappeared from her post without explanation. Maybe you heard vague whispers that she went 'back to the Motherhouse'. Sometimes she would return with equal mystery. I can tell you, that nun had had to deal with one too many grass whistles. Or Tuberculosis. One of the two.

18 comments:

Maggii said...

WHAT AM I SAYING!!!???? I don't want to know. The rest of the soap opera family is on an airplane that is about to crash because it is "February sweeps", according to my mother, so hopefully they'll all be gone by the end of the week, into the briny deep, as they are now over the Atlantic Ocean.

****

not to worry....they'll be back!....In true Catholic form....dead characters mysteriously resurrect all the time.....I can't tell you how many times characters have 'died" on this show ...and yet they 'came back" a year or two later....LOL

RadioPie said...

Loved the post!

Now...what would happen if you were bicycling to mass and you smiled at someone and swallowed a fly before communion....

Sister Mary Martha said...

I can't think that I want any of these people to come back.

Unless you intended to eat a fly before communion, I think you're safe. In fact, I think you get some extra points for bicycling.

Debbie said...

Thank you again, Sister MM, for making me LOL!

(What should I do about my confirmation name: Celeste?)

babybreederbabe said...

I love you, Sister MM. You are fabulous. I can't believe I only found your blog two days ago.

Marie said...

Hi there Sister. I am a Catholic and gave up this soap opera about 2 years ago for Lent(started watching it with my mother oh so many moons ago). Anyway, It actually went beyond the 40 days and I stopped watching for over one year and lost 57 pounds! Back to watching now and back with 15 extra pounds. You think they are related somehow?

God Bless
Marie

Journey of Truth said...

You're nicer than me, because I "La la la" until my kids give up when they ask me too many questions - but only when they are asking equally obsurd questions and they know they are driving me mad.

Loved this post!!

La Bibliotecaria Laura said...

I'm totally with you on popping the cork and saying absurd things. Sartre has nothing on me when it comes to facing the absurd.

just me said...

I gave up a different soap a couple years ago (?), when an unmarried mid-twenties character bemoaned her state of virginity. Another character helped her with her "problem", and apparently all was then well. I wondered what on earth I was doing watching this garbage. I haven't regretted dumping that trash for a minute.

marylandfan said...

Hey, I know that soap opera! I watched that show for years when I was in highschool and college. I cannot believe those same people are doing the same stuff. That was like 20 years ago! Maggii is right they'll be back again, and again, and again, and again.....

Monica said...

Sr. MM, I had to laugh, because the blade of grass thing is they type of question my children ask me all the time. I remember doing it to my mother too (specifically asking her if I traded bodies with someone, would I be them, or would I still be me?) So I guess the questions I get are payback of some sort. I see your distinction of presenting it as some official church teaching though. I'll have to be careful not to do that.

katy said...

I knew it! Sister told us it is a sin to forget to say our prayers. If I forgot, it is NOT! Thank you SMM

paddy the papist said...

Is SMM a Marrano?

Ouiz said...

I love your posts!!

--"if I swallow a grass whistle before Communion, is it a sin?"

I get questions like this soooooo many times a day from my children. It's truly enough to drive a homeschooling mom bonkers...

MoMo said...

Dear Sister, Your comment about animals going to heaven reminds me of my youngest who was called upon to give an impromptu prayer of the faithful on her first communion day. She solomnly prayed for her dead hamsters. Over lunch, my mother, always the theologian, told her that hamsters do not go to heaven. She asked in all seriousness, "because one was a murderer?" (The back story: One hamster attacked and killed his cage mate -- before we found out that they must live as hermits -- alone!).

RosieC said...

Isn't the pilot of that plane the same guy who died, for absolutely the very last time (the producers claimed) just last fall, only to be resurrected last month?

Piffle.

Meanwhile, I agree that telling kids things like you shouldn't stick out your tongue because your eyes will fall out is in a different league than making up stuff about church doctrine.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a wonderful man, very friendly and outgoing. He is also an excellent speaker. He was an A student all through school and college. My mother-in-law was so sure this was the child God intended to be a priest. HER ticket to heaven. I guess she's minding her p's and q's now. I married her ticket to heaven. We've been very happy for 23+ years.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Dear Paddy, I generally don't bother to argue with people who want to make guesses about me, since it's futile to tell people anything over the internet. I suppose I'm wasting my typing time to tell you I didn't know what a Marrano was until I looked it up on wikipedia. I still don't really understand.

Glad I'm not a part of their 'legion'. I wouldn't know how to act.
SMM