Saturday, May 17, 2008
I am busier than a cranberry merchant. That's another phrase my mother uses. I say it all the time and people look at me like I have two heads. Someone actually asked what in the world I meant by that. I suppose that since the cranberries that person buys come already neatly bagged with a pretty blue wave on them, the image of someone trying to wrangle cranberries and sell them escaped her.
Anyhow, Sister Nicholas is on her way out. Sister St. Aloysius is on her way back. I am here, for a change. Sister Nicholas is used to packing and unpacking. It seems she never stays anywhere for very long. She thinks people complain about her so much, because she is so annoying to just about everyone, that she is constantly being transferred.
Don't think that doesn't happen. It happens a lot. I know everyone thinks that nuns are taught obedience and therefore just offer it up when living in close quarters with groups of women gets to be a bit much. That happens a lot, too. But sometimes, some people are moved, or asked to move, or asked to leave altogether because no one can get along with them. It happens. I'm not sure it's the case with Sister Nicholas. One could certainly make the case.
I don't mind her. But then, I always knew she was temporary, so perhaps I could always see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, they build a new tunnel.
I've always found it quietly amusing, when people ask about vocations or wonder if they have a vocation, and they are wondering aloud with which order they should join, just what makes them think the order will have them? People are turned away in droves.
Well...not droves. Not these days. But only because droves don't show up in the first place. Ironically, you are more likely to get turned away these days than in the past.
Picky, picky, picky. My mother also always said, "Beggars can't be choosers."
Could you let me know who the patron saint is of Catholics whose faith is challenged and insulted constantly? I am a conservative Catholic who lives in the very secular San Francisco Bay area.
Thanks in advance, and God Bless you.
I have to go with the North American martyrs on this one. You may have heard of them. These were eight Jesuits who left France during the Renaissance and came to Canada. They had a plan to evangelize the 'savages', meaning, the Native Americans of Canada. They picked the Hurons to start in on, because the Algonquins were a nomadic tribe and the priests apparently thought it would be impossible to just follow them around everywhere trying to get them to listen about Jesus.
The Hurons stayed put. There were about thirty thousand of them to work on. So the priests went to work. It didn't go very well. During the thirteen years they toiled they did manage to baptize a number of people, but it was an uphill climb.
Sound familiar? How about this description of how they found the Huron:
The suffocating fires and foul odors within made the huts most uncomfortable. The savages were rough, impatient, and thoroughly given over to every impurity. Their "divinities" were the sun, the moon, and almost any material object. Sorcerers led wild feasts and orgies to appease the spirits, and superstition accompanied all they did. Father Brebeuf, convinced of Satan's dominion over these poor souls, prayed fervently for them.
That has to ring a bell for you.
Things went from bad to worse when influenza and small pox wiped hundreds of people out. Although the priests did catch the disease, they all survived. Rather than take this as a sign that God was indeed helping them, the 'savages' became suspicious that perhaps all that Latin mumbo jumbo was some kind of "Blackrobe" sorcery.
Meanwhile, the Hurons were at war with the Iroquois. It was the Iroquois that eventually tortured and killed the eight priests.
Thoroughly gruesome, by the way. I'll let you look it up for yourself on the Google. Chewing off fingers, removing eyeballs from their sockets with hot pokers, hunking off chunks of flesh, running club gauntlets...the list goes on. The Pope had to give Father Isaac Jogues a special dispensation to say Mass with what was left of his hands. A couple of the lucky ones got shot with muskets and arrows in the head.
That should make you feel better about your life in San Francisco.