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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Olive Oyl in the Factory

When I was a little girl I really enjoyed Popeye and Olive Oyl. There was one cartoon in particular where Olive was working in a factory and got conked in the head. She was sleepwalking around the factory with dangerous choppers and slicers and swinging things whooshing just in front of her and behind her. Popeye is hit by every single thing while trying to rescue her until he eats his spinach and breaks everything in the factory to go get her.

(What a methaphor for life! As dangerous as it looked Olive never needed any help and Popeye broke everything for no reason. As we always told the second graders, "Mind your own garden.")
I feel like Olive Oyl in the factory on a daily basis. Driving Sister Mary Fiacre for her doctor's appointments and trying to keep her from bumbling out of the car at any moment while Sister St. Aloysuis gasps at every other vehicle on the road causing me to slam on the brakes every two feet while other driver's honk and commit sins in our direction, causing Sister St. Aloysuis to gasp again...you get the picture.

We lost Sister Mary Fiacre for a full two minutes at the entrance of the clinic until the valet returned her. Apparently she had somehow gotten back in the car. Remarkable for a woman who can't walk. Eating her spinach, I guess.

And yet, I don't worry. I leave it all up to my guardian angel.

It is one of the tenets of the Catholic church that every single person has a guardian angel, even Saddam Hussein and Tom Cruise, whose angels are very embarassed for them.

Your guardian angel is there to guide and protect you. I'm not sure how that works, with free will and all. Maybe they somehow guide you so that things that aren't supposed to happen to
you don't happen. Like Olive Oyl in the factory.

Some people become so enamoured at the idea of a guardian angel that they give their angel a name. I believe Bishop Fultion Sheen called his 'Fred."

Now far be it from me to admonish Bishop Fulton Sheen, who is up for sainthood, but you can't name an angel 'Fred'.

Angels are not human. They are not dead people living in heaven who have been reassigned to earthly duty. That's "It's a Wonderful Life", not reality. Angels are some other entity all together. No sex is involved.

If you want to name your angel, give him a nice gender neutral name. (Him is gender neutral in this sentence structure. Look it up.)

Yes, I know there are famous angels with the names Michael and Rapheal. God named them. You're not God.

Whatever you name your angel, be at peace in the knowledge that you won't be flattened by a steamroller or break your leg (unless God wills it) with your angel ever vilgilant.

Unless there is another War in Heaven. This worries me constantly now, since Sister St. Aloysius pointed out to me that the angels did have a war once in heaven. There is no guarantee that war couldn't break out in heaven at any time. Then our angels might be called up, like grandmothers to Iraq.

If that happens, we may lose Sister Mary Fiacre for good one of these days.


Unknown said...

S'ter, do ya s'pose I could name my guardian angel "Skippy?" Would that be gender neutral enough?

Just wonderin'

Sister Mary Martha said...

I said 'gender neutral' not asinine. I was thinking along the lines of "Pat" or "Chris", "Vivian" or "Val".
Sister Mary Martha

The Ironic Catholic said...

Sister, I tagged you with book questions...see mt website for details.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Dear Ironic,

I am an old person. You are going to have to be more clear. I looked on your website and didn't find what you're referring to. I know how to click a link, praise heaven. Help me out here.
sister mary Martha

The Ironic Catholic said...

Dear Sr. Mary Martha,
I apologize! This blogging practice is called a meme. Here's is what you do.

1. Click here.

2. Paste the questions you see and answer them in a post, if you wish.

3. Then at the end, name someone to carry it on.

I apologize for not being clearer!

Christopher Clark said...

To say that there is no sex involved with angels may be a little misleading. The Grigori are said to be the fallen angels from the war in heaven. Those guys were running aound knocking up human women right and left.

Their children, the Nephilim, would have been half angel. I have to assume they were getting a little action once in a while too.

If there ever is another war in heaven, your guardian angel might start looking at you in a less protectective and more predatory manner.

Thanks for pointing out the neutrality of the world "he." I'm all for the evolution of language, but the modern practice of using "their" as a gender neutral pronoun really kills me.

Tracy said...

Dear Sister,

I know you wrote this all the way back in August, but I had to write to thank you for clearing up an issue that's been troubling me lately: namely, what pronoun to use when referring to my guardian angel (whom I have nicknamed Hope, [hey, if Vivian is gender-neutral, so is Hope!]; he may have his own real name given to him by God, but I've got to call him something!). I asked Hope to please help me clear this up, and he has evidently seen fit to direct me to your online essays. What a wonderful guardian angel our Lord has sent to help and protect me!

Thank you, and have a blessed day.


gram cattie said...

Is there any saint for a truly broken heart of a lovely 25 year old granddaughter. I need words to help here.