See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday morning... in the snowy desert.

Very, very random reflections.
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"So, watch-ya-doin'?"
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"Juz thinkin'..."
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Can't you just hear Liz Lemon and Kenneth talking like that to each other? And then Jack Donaghy comes along.
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"Go pound sand" ...don't worry, it's just the mood I'm in.
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The church I attended this weekend did not place sand in the holy water fonts this year. What a disappointment. Although I honestly never cared for that, nor do I miss it. I use holy water all of the time and keep it at home anyway - I picked that up in grade school, and then later it was reinforced by Teresa of Avila. Yet do you know why some churches do it? I'm sure you do, but let me remind you. The first Sunday in Lent is always about Christ going into the desert for 40 days - desert = sand - get it? See, liturgists mean well with their innovations, replacing something holy with something banal and useless. Although the novelty wears off quickly after watching the unsuspecting old ladies surprise and subsequent look of irritation, followed by the head-shaking disappointment that an unknown Grinch stole the holy water.
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No NY Times? Watch CBS Sunday Morning.
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Call me Sarah Palin, but I'm not a big newspaper buff. However, I watched Sunday Morning today - I love that show - and I can see the alley from my house. The ads this morning were interesting - to ageing baby-boomers and rock historians maybe. New CD's of old rock stars were promoted, with footage of their recent comeback(?) concerts. I know, I thought they were dead too. There is something so weird, so creepy, so scary - I'm searching for the right adjective - about these old codgers singing and performing on stage. They kind of look like characters out of old horror films, or Sean Penn. I wonder why? Tina Turner is old, but she looks good. Perhaps it's all cosmetics and hair dye? Obviously some old guys dye their hair, but it always looks dyed too - and you can see through that dyed thin hair, turning effervescent red from the sun, onto their white, embalmed looking scalp. My advice - if you like their music - listen but do not ever look. The results can be like the Medusa myth.
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Back to my roots - giving up stuff for Lent - more on the subject.
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Finally - the big topic for Catholic blogs remains Lent. Can't ignore it. Our ascesis and the things we give up should probably cost us something to be worth the effort. Depriving ourselves of legitimate goods creates a sort of barren, arid waste within our souls. The ugly beasts and stinging scorpions emerge - and we can feel miserable and desolate. Because of this, I think the stuff a person does for Lent - what they give up - is best kept a secret; otherwise one runs the risk of a certain satisfaction or gratification, compromising our spiritual solitude. There are much bigger things to focus upon. In particular, those things our self-indulgent, self-gratifying, inordinate attachments masked: the scorpions, snakes and vipers, and other vile beasts lurking in the murky moat surrounding our interior castle. For example:
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The jealousy and envy we covered over with bodily adornments, clothes, tanning products and cosmetics - or various other masquerading pretensions.
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The anger and discontent we drowned in soft drinks, alcohol, or stuffed with food, or obscured in smoke.
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The sadness and grief, even our disillusionment and failures, we assuaged or numbed with TV, the Internet, and in some cases, drug abuse - prescription or illegal.
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In the desert - if the experience is authentic - all of our ugliness comes out. We do not need sand to remind us that our rock-star status is over, and that much of our life has been simply a lovely facade for a tomb filled with dead men's bones.
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You betcha Liz, 40 days is a very short time to amend one's life...

4 comments:

  1. I had never heard about the sand in the holy water font thing. Kind of glad we don't do it here; as you say, "We do not need sand to remind us that our rock-star status is over."

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  2. I thought that holy water remitted venial sins, don't we actually need the stuff?

    I don't understand Vatican 2 either.

    People don't change football rules - fans would have a fit.

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  3. So, you are refusing to wear deoderant during Lent? Is that punishment for you or the other people around you? ;-)

    Sand in the fonts makes me cranky. I'm with the old ladies with the face. I remember the time I dipped into the font and someone had put a cactus in it. Yes, lovely.

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  4. Others are feeling arid this Lent - I am feeling like a vibrant green plant! (NOt a shrub!!) However it's been less than a week since Lent started. Ask me again in 4 weeks...
    Also I wonder if the euphoria I feel is the starvation...? (jus' kiddin')

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