Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Is My Face Orange!
I am in the dog house. I made somebody stand in line way too long. I remember the incident now that it's been brought to my attention.
It's almost Ash Wednesday Sister and time to burn those orange glow sticks. It may not have been you that emailed me and said that your opinion would be up in a couple of days last year but just in case it WAS....I've been waiting terribly anxiously for almost a year now. (I offered up ALL that suffering too.) But since the topic might actually fit into your blogging schedule sometime in the next couple of months, I just wanted to you to know I still care about your opinion.
Is my face red! It doesn't look good with all this black and white. (It's usual pasty white with translucent blue is much more becoming.)
That was me that commented, on my birthday, no less, not that we care about birthdays. Please accept my sincere apology.
Of course I had an opinion.
I have no idea what it was. This must be like the "Geraldo door" for you. Remember that? Geraldo Rivera had some secret cave or something with a vault that contained secrets about Al Capone and after a huge build up all week, when he opened the door or cracked through the wall or whatever he had to do to get to the vault, there was nothing there. Nothing at all.
I won't leave you with nothing. Orange glow sticks, indeed.
Let's start by giving the crazy church the benefit of the doubt and say that the preacher was attempting to make Palm Sunday pertinent to the children by helping them to understand that if children back in Our Lord's day had orange glow sticks that's what they would have used. What do palm fronds mean to children anyhow?
I'd be interested to know what the man had to say about Palm Sunday in general. What is the point we take away from Palm Sunday? Pretty much how fickle and weak we are, dancing around Jesus one day with a big parade and turning our backs the next. Jesus who? It's been the story of Jesus' life, hasn't it?
Maybe if the kids had to wear the spent orange glow sticks around there necks for the rest of the week until Easter as a reminder of what was really going on here, I could get on board.
It could be worse. They could be playing "Pin the Palm Frond on the Palm Sunday Donkey". I shouldn't have said anything. That will be next year's sermon.
I do remember, when I first read about the orange glow sticks, being shocked and appalled. I can't muster any emotion about it now, but I do know why.
When I was a child the nuns who taught us always said that we weren't allowed to go to other churches (meaning 'Protestant' churches) because GOD WASN'T IN THERE. They actually said that. As children we had a really hard time trying to figure out how God, Who is everywhere, wasn't there, as though Protestant churches were some sort of God black hole, or maybe God spread Himself like mustard over everything and skipped the Protestant churches like the corners of dry bread. (I use mustard as an example because I love mustard. You can't put too much mustard on my sandwich.)
After Vatican II the nuns amended their Protestant church admonishment. Now we could go to a Protestant church, but we should not pray while we were in there. There was no mention of God not being there. As a child I was left to imagine that while God WAS there, He was holding His ears and humming.
My mother (whose birthday is TODAY), never one to take what nuns say with anything but a huge grain of salt since she was raised by them in an orphanage, went to any church she wanted to visit, if invited by Protestant friends. I have a feeling she didn't do any praying in there. I'll have to ask her. At any rate, she encouraged us to do the same, not to shop, but to understand.
Here comes the inflammatory part. For lack of a better way to express myself, I have never appreciated the 'dumbing down' of the Bible (bothered by Machabees? tear it outta there!), The New Testament (we don't want people to think they have to DO anything to get to heaven so let's change "peace on earth to men of good will" to Peace on earth good will toward men"), the Litugy (what liturgy?), the Rules (marry the wrong guy? get a new one!, the songs, the lack of kneeling, the lack of Confession....you get the point. The dumbing down of the Eucharist is particularly sad.
And that's why all I can do about the orange glow sticks is sadly shake my head. Or nod my head in a 'what else would you expect' sort of way.
I hope this suffices as an explanation for what I think of the orange glow sticks. If it doesn't I'll have to make up a liturgical dance to express my pain.