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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crazy Time

I cannot imagine the whirlwind emotions the early disciples must have experienced in these heady days after Jesus rose from the dead. There wasn't much time left with Jesus on earth. They must have been filled with excitement and fear, anticipation and doubt. Each moment must have been so precious. So I read with great interest about the days that follow the Resurrection of Christ. And what do I find?

Hocktide. A little known festival that happens in only one place in the entire world, Hungerford, England, on the first Tuesday after Easter. It's a silly pointless festival, as far as I can tell. The men dress up, the women get a kiss, there is a pole and everyone gets an orange. Some people get a nail in their shoe.

The men call themselves "Tutti Men". Know one seems to know why. They carry Tutti Poles, which are wooden staffs with bunches of flowers and a cloved orange on top. The Tutti Men are led by the Orange Man (you know as much as I do), also known as the Orange Scrambler (breakfast anyone?) who carries a hat decorated with feathers. I don't know why he doesn't wear it. Crazy hats seem to be a big part of all kinds of festivals and rituals. The Pope never carries his hat.

Anyhow, he also carries a sack of oranges (another good reason to wear the hat) and he passes out oranges in return for pennies and kisses. They blow a horn at 8am to start this extravaganza. They visit 102 houses and demand a kiss from the lady of the house, who gets an orange for her trouble.

As if this isn't silly enough, after lunch all first time attendees are treated to the "shoeing of the colts" during which they get a nail driven through the sole of one shoe. What fun!

Which brings me to today's question:

Hello Sister, While you're Saint-matching...which Saint should I ask for help if I'm trying to start a romantic relationship with someone? Thanks!

Too bad you missed out on flinging yourself over to Hungerford today. You'd get a kiss and an orange.

The patron saint for young lovers is the Archangel Raphael. Here is the story: Sarah is a miserable young woman who is plagued by a demon who has killed everyone she has married. Tobit is a blind man who is miserable about being blind. Tobit sends his young son, Tobias, away on a business trip. Tobias meets Sarah.

Love at first sight.

Wait....I left out an important part of the story. God has sent his Archangel, Raphael, to Tobit already. Raphael is with Tobias on the business trip. That's why Raphael is also the patron of young people leaving home for the first time.

So Raphael tells Tobias to confront the demon, which he does, and the demon slinks off forever. Sarah and Tobias live happily ever after. And I do mean ever after. Tobias lived to see his great great great grandchildren. And Tobit lived to see his great great grandchildren, actually see them, because when Tobias and Sarah returned home with Raphael, Raphael took care of the blindness problem, too. Move over St. Lucy.

On another note:
In approaching the end of the school year, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything that I must do. I really need to be able to get things done quickly and not waste time. Is there a patron saint I can pray to for better time management?

Off hand, I'd recommend St. Sebastian, the patron saint of multi-tasking. But I did a little digging and I came up with St. Benedict. Actually, I didn't come up with St. Benedict, someone wrote a whole book on the subject. Actually, there are quite a number of books on St. Benedict and business management. Who knew?

I realize you are asking about time management and not business management. But the reason St. Benedict has become the patron saint of business management is because of the Rule of Benedict, which is a blue print for business management.

And the reason St. Benedict wrote his rule is because the world had just gone to Hell in a handcart. The Roman Empire had fallen and with it the structure of society, like dominoes. With no security, anarchy gave way to disease and foreign invasion. In stepped Benedict and his Rule, allowing his monks not only to endure, but to flourish.

If Benedict could get his monks through the fall of the Roman Empire, I think he can get you through the end of the school year.

And finally:
One last question about novenas. I am currently doing two, at 11:30 a.m. I have been looking online, and I cannot find this anywhere: Do I have to say the novenas at the same time every day? I have a business presentation to give on Friday that might run long, and now I am wondering after Friday am I on day 5 or back at day 1?

Ask St. Benedict.

I'm joking.

It doesn't have to be at the same time every day. That would be a little silly, as though you're prayer would be rejected because you said it at 9:20 instead of 8:30. The whole purpose of a novena is to put you in touch with God for nine straight days focusing on a single petition. It makes a difference (to you, not to God) if you forget all about it. But as long as you get it in there, you're good to go. Saying it at the same time every day simply helps you to stay mindful and remember.

Novena tips.


Unknown said...

Hocktide...hilarious. Sounds very Monty Pythonish, especially the Tutti Men. And the oranges...I'm still laughing.
Onto the student feeling overwhelmed by the projects due at the end of school, perhaps I might gently add that this student may want to consider getting off the internet for the next few days/weeks?? And pray to St. Benedict.

Unknown said...

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If you'd like to know more, please email me at last24hours@gmail.com
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

Laurie said...

this must be the origin of the word, "tutti frutti"!

Anonymous said...

I just love the simplicity of Sr MM's advice--nine days of focusing on a single petition...seems
pretty relevant in attempting to discern what the Good Lord has in mind (Divine Intention), while keeping out of the busybodiness of trying to manipulate matters without Divine Intervention.

NCSue said...

Hocktide sounds like a Monty Python sort of thing. Surely they can't be serious? Or perhaps this is simply a harmless way of letting off a little steam after a rigorous Lent?

I just found - and love - your blog. Hope you'll visit mine!


NCSue said...

I just love it. Either this is a Monty Python sort of spoof, or else perhaps a way of letting off some steam rather harmlessly after the rigors of Lent. What goofy fun!