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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mission Accomplished

I don't mind telling you that sometimes Sister St. Aloysius bugs me. I'm not talking behind her back here. I told her just today, "You are REally bugging me." She would laugh if she had a sense of humor.

Occasionally it's a daily living thing, like when I found out she had never ever cleaned the stove. There was another time when I lost her at the grocery store for over an hour because instead of staying put like I asked her, she was looking for me while I was looking for her. That never works. Sometimes she doesn't pay attention to where we've parked and we have to get someone to drive us around in a golf cart until we find the car. That's embarassing.

But most of the time she actually bugs me in a good way, in that she comes up with things I hadn't really thought about, like the possibility of a future war in heaven. I can't stop thinking about that. I'm very upset about it.

When we got back from the Catholic Charities empty handed again and with the clock ticking on Halloween she opined that before we go back we'd better have a plan. I couldn't think what she meant by that. We have a plan: get stuff to make Halloween costumes.

"No, " she said. "We need to know what we're making exactly and what's appropriate."

Okay. The Little Mermaid, out. Saints, okay but not necessary.

"When we were little we loved to dress up as tramps, " I told her. This is a no-brainer. First of all it's an easy breezy lemon squeezy costume to come up with, especially if you're shopping at the Catholic Charities. It's easier than being an Episcopalian. And secondly, it's fun to be a tramp. Tramps don't live by the same rules as the rest of us.

"No," she said. "Tramps are just homeless people. It's not right for children to pretend to be homeless for fun."

She had me there. The Foster Brooks factor. Drunks used to be funny. No more.

You may be surprised to find that I'm all for political correctness. To me, that just means pay attention if you're hurting someone else's feelings. And if you get your knickers all in a twist because it causes you to behave in some way that makes you uncomfortable bingo! You'd better take a look at why it makes you so unhappy to consider the feelings of others.

But this is a slippery slope costume-wise. "If that's the criteria, then are we crossing pirates off the list? Pirates are really evil people. Is it okay to dress up as evil people?"

I'd like to stop thinking about this and mull over the war in heaven. I feel like Donald Rumsfeld talking to James Baker.

"My brother thinks that Halloween should only be about scarey stuff. Goblins, ghosts, monsters..." she said.

"Oh, I don't think so. It's also about clever costumes, and dress up, and pretty, pretty princesses...." I argued. Although I have to admit my two favorite costumes during my days as a trick or treater were the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow and the two headed monster my friend Jackie and I made by sewing a two tramp costumes together. We scared my six year old cousin out of his socks when we came lurching up out of the basement in it.

I was scaring children even back then.


"Ghosts are always easy, " I offered. "We probably have enough old linen to skip going back to...."

"NO!" she gasped. "We don't want the children getting involved thinking about ghosts!"

She's got me there, again.

I mentioned before that the Catholic church doesn't get all silly about Halloween. But we do want you to stay away from seances and ouija boards and all that kind of thing. Here's why: the devil is a tricky guy. You may think it's your beloved Aunt Julia haunting the old house, but it could be the devil dressed as your Aunt Julia. And he doesn't wait around for Halloween to behave this way like you do. Or it could be your Aunt Julia on a field trip from hell. How well did you really know her anyhow? We need you to stay away from that whole thing. You'll be in over your head and end up the subject of a movie where you spew a gallon of pea soup.

I believe it was at this point that I told her she was really bugging me.

"You're really bugging me, " I said. "We have to get this done with so I can crawl up in the garage loft and get out the Halloween decorations and put them up."

You'd love our Halloween decorations. They are as old as the hills. Jointed skeletons and witches and black cats. We have a big caldron we put the candy in and we wear pointy hats and stand out on the porch and hand it out. If we have time we grab some dry ice. Spooky. My knack for scaring children is the perfect finishing touch.

That sort of clinched the deal, I guess. She loves the decorations, too. What's a skeleton, really, but a naked ghost? What's a witch if not an instrument of the devil? Let's just have costumes and candy and make believe and feel a little scared and try to keep your mother from eating all the Snickers bars you got and leaving you with candy corn.

Candy corn! Now THAT is evil.


KatDee said...

I'm not worried about a war in Heaven. Presumably, Our Heavenly Father is a pretty good peace negotiator.

However, if there is a war in Heaven, it would be a part of His plan and therefore something we'd all have to accept with forebearance, right?

Sister Mary Martha said...

Our Heavenly Father didn't stop the first war in heaven, so there's no reason to believe there couldn't be another one. If there is another war in Heaven it wouldn't be much of an eternal reward now would it?

KatDee said...

If there is another war in Heaven it wouldn't be much of an eternal reward now would it?

Indeed it wouldn't, Sister.

Tracy said...

I'm not concerned in the slightest about a second war in Heaven, because I don't believe it will ever happen. My reasons are thus:

1) There already IS a spiritual war going on, with angels and demons fighting tooth and nail for human souls. We don't see the fighters themselves (usually), but we see the casualties all the time.

2) The fall of Satan was always explained to me in this way: Angels live outside of time and thus are not subject to it, as we are. However, it is likely that at some point, the angels were given the choice between loving and serving God, and rejecting him (just as we are). Since God is infinitely just, it is probably safe to assume that the angels were not yet granted the Beatific Vision, since they would not have been able to reject God after having seen His full Glory. So, each angel had to make a choice, and about a third of them (if Revelations is any indication) chose to reject God, with Lucifer at the forefront. Because they are not prisoners of time as we are, once they had made their choice, the angels were then "stuck", if you will, in that state. So, just as we are taught that the fallen angels can never be saved because it is not possible for creatures living outside of time to change their minds, those angels who chose to be faithful to our Lord can never reject Him.

This is, of course, just one little knitwit's input. If I've made any statements in error, it's because I either misunderstood what was taught me or am misremembering it.

Tracy said...

Whoops, forgot to capitalize one of the "him"s in there. But you know what I mean.

Candy Girl said...

i wanted to be something really scary for holloween. so im being a nun. thanks sister!

dutch said...

Tracy, I don't see any Scripture supporting that Angels live outside of time. But I don't see any saying they don't. So there you go.

Sister St. Aloysius and I probably have a lot in common. I have lost my car 3 times at Valley Fair (the parking lot) and had to be driven around looking for it. My niece-let always now makes a point of memorizing where I car is since her crazy auntie always forgets. I don't remember always which direction I am walking. But I do consider people's feelings a lot.

Maybe I should look into becoming a nun if I were to convert over to RCC. I am already celibate so it really wouldn't be such a big step.

I so look forward to my birthday, duchesslet dressed up one year as a Dead Doll (from the Day of the Dead) but I think I have only my 9 year old nephew left out of the 4 kidlets to drag around the neighborhood. *sigh* They all grew up so fast...the time flies.

Anthony said...

I like your style, Sister. My Grandmother lived in a convent as a child in Poland. I have missed her every day since her passing over 20 years ago. Should you have an opportunity, perhaps you can stop for a look at my blogs. They are both listed in my profile. May you have a happy holiday season.

Anonymous said...

I spent my entire evening last night reading this online essay from beginning to end. I loved it!

But I am so conflicted. The historical references sure sound accurate and like they came from someone who has lived a life in the clergy. However, some of the phrases just sound so "nowadays" and not like they came from a person who is, let's say, over sixty. So I guess I am still wondering, is this really written by a nun or is it all an elaborate put on?

I guess with so much stuff on the internet that is phoney baloney, I am too jaded. But I hate the thought that there is some thirty-seven year old man in a yellowed wife-beater t-shirt writing this and laughing at us all for believing it.

Can we see your driver's license?

Sister Mary Martha said...

I think this is the first time I've ever been accused of being too hip.

or...hip at all....

We always said 'hep'.

CMinor said...

JD, I think it's probably all right to let your imagination play when you read this blog. I have a hard time imagining Sister as a middle-aged male (or any male) in the real world; if she is she's faking awfully well. I don't know of too many male authors who can write convincingly of stove cleaning and trips to the fabric shop.

My younger son was an outhouse a couple of Hallowe'ens ago. He came up with the idea, and we made his costume out of a packing box. And yes, we did cut a crescent moon into the door.

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