I mess with my own mind. After writing the last post, I was driving (to and from Payless Shoes, a store I use. So tidy, smallish, and conveniently organized by – believe it or not – shoe size! My shoes hopefully don’t have an attitude. If they do, they self-delude).
But anyway, as I drove, I looked upon people and drivers with new eyes. Upon seeing a young fellow driving in a black car with black tinted windows, I think to myself, “Ah yes – a future priest!”
Oh dear. Probably not what he’s thinking I’m thinking about him in his shiny black car with the thump-thump-thump tunes. He wants respect, but, um, not the clergyman kind. Sorry, Father. I mean, Brother.
(I kill me.)
But in my defence, you never know! Maybe he does have a vocation to the priesthood or monastic life! Maybe! Look! It’s Father Brown! It’s Brother Black!
Then I see someone jogging in head-to-toe black skin-tight shiny spandex and I say to myself: “Ah! (Not a Reader.)”
Oh well, as I’ve said, blogging is strange. Don’t know who I’m ‘talking to’ at any given moment. All I know is that there are a lot of opinions in this head.
As for having a lot of opinions, this is arguably, part of being NOT in the game. I have quite complete freedom to say what I like. Won’t lose my position as Key Politician. Won’t lose my position as Movie Star.
Chesterton himself said that it is the young and unknown who have the strong clear opinions. He said that as you climb ‘upwards’ in the world, people often become more and more silent and vague and really say nothing.
Chesterton was different that way – he kept talking, though he became more and more well known. He kept taking that chance, no matter who said whatever. He’d respond. He’d get into the ring. Time after time. Bop bop boof boof. Not easy stuff. It gets onto prophet territory, and everyone knows that’s no easy row to hoe. Causing rows. Mowing down cows. Not easy (except when it is).
He was once asked whether he had an opinion about everything. He answered that he felt compelled, upon forming an opinion, to share it. In other words, he considered it in the nature of a duty to express, on paper or in person, the thoughts that he had.
Problem was, he had so many things he wanted to write about! He once lamented that he couldn’t get out more than one-tenth of what he wanted to say. Oh, I can relate! Here on this computer hides one or two almost-done posts (one about how nail polish is yucky, one about Boston), plus some essay (about worrying) that I was going to transform into a post, an allegorical metaphorical thing about a rhino eating some grass, and I still never responded to that blogger who inspired me into feeling like a squished bottle cap.
Chesterton relished it. Savoured it, cherished it. Time to think, time to write. How nice.
Oh well, there are some things even more enjoyable than writing. So I don’t write all the time. I write when there is mood and opportunity to do so.
Sometimes you just want to eat a creamsicle instead – or enjoy the spring.
Here it’s like spring-time on steroids.
Every bird is singing like it’s an audition. The leaves and blossoms are opening like those videos where nature is on fast-forward – like there’s something coming up and they want to be part of the show. The sky is often so entirely blue. Like today. And then the planes go ‘swoosh’ and they leave their white trails like chalk lines all across the clear blue open blue blue-on-blue sky.
I have never enjoyed spring as much as I do this year.
Mind you, in my town, there’s barely a soul who doesn’t appreciate this kind of stuff. A spring-time arriving early after a white but mild winter? Well, that’s a pure gift from heaven for us in this place.
But anyway, in the interests of catching up on this backlog of writing posts, of describing day-dreams, of outlining How Things Would Be If I Had a Say, I thought I’d see how far I could get with some random list of what I do wish.
WISH NUMBER ONE:
Well, you should guess this one. What does a Catholic blogger wish for first, if not for this? Baptized thrice (Dad did it secretly, not telling his Acadian mother, who also did it secretly, long before it was official at St Dominic Savio), a Catholic blogger would wish that everyone would be Catholic, no?
And of course, Roman Catholic is what I do mean.
Ukrainian is nice, and so on and so forth, Eastern’s okay, I guess and alright. But as for me, well, Roman is best. Simple and clean. No marriage mixed with priest-vows, no, not quite exactly right. Too much to ask of any man. Give the wife back her man; he promised 100%; he can’t take it back and try to reassign, is my view.
Disagree? Find a blog post that takes comments. You can rant over there. They’ll like it. I’d rather keep going with my own imaginary world.
As for how this shall be done, administratively speaking, well, I’ve got that figured out, so it’s funny you’d ask.
Conversion of the world. Simple schedule for every church with a priest:
Seven days a week: BAPTISMS at 3:00 (Hour of Mercy). The run-down on vows occurs at 2 (Proceed directly for baptism at 3 or wait until next day/ next week/ next month to make a next move). Stop in when you please. It’s the first step you will need. Whole family at a time would be mighty fine, from newborn to age 99, or older. Wipes out any and all sins committed until then. God makes all things new.
Six days a week (Sunday will already be a little too busy): RECONCILIATION (“Confession”) would be every day from 9 until 2 with a stop-break for lunch around noon (will someone please get this man a drink and how about a grilled cheese sandwich or bananas with peanut butter on bread or whatever his honest preference is – nacho chips fish and chips – something yummy like that? Plus tea for the English priest, beer for the German, saki for the Japanese priest – I think there’s only one left in that land as things currently stand – and so on and so forth). Reconciliation is about absolution and not advice, so the line will go quick.
Sundays: as many MASSES as the priest thinks he can run – yes this is a competition, as a matter of fact. Bragging rights for those who can do more than seven. Young priests, better look out, funny you didn’t know – Fr. Gray Hair has energy to spare and will give you a run for your money! These Masses will include FIRST COMMUNION for those little tykes all dressed in white and those adults wearing their modest Sunday clothing their best. They’ve attended the info session on Friday evenings at seven. Didn’t take long for them to understand – it’s Jesus, not bread, it’s Jesus, not wine. Got it? Yup. Amen? Yup. Moving along.
Every Monday and Wednesday evening, at the bishop’s main parish: CONFIRMATION at 5 (the run-down on how is at 4, taught by the good bishop himself). After Confirmation, how about a BBQ with the bishop taking a turn at the ‘cue?
As for HOLY ORDERS and MARRIAGE and RCIA: you get the idea. All these should run smoothly, stripped of any fluff and excess. Don’t waste anybody’s time and teach what needs to be taught. Do what needs to be done, but don’t make unnecessary hurdles to get the party started. RCIA – two choices — attend on Thursdays at 7 p.m. or Saturdays at 9 a.m. – some kind of one-time 3-hour marathon session? Main focus is on how to do Mass. Teach people when to stand, when to sit, what are the lines, and please tell them it’s “Peace be with you” (not a hug, not a smooch, not all new and interesting adaptations of something so simple; I dislike it when people say “Peace of Christ” – that’s not even a full sentence, unlike “Peace be with you,” which is. Yes, Christ has peace, but what are you saying about it, exactly? “Peace be with you” is a blessing and a sentence with an understood imperative; “Peace of Christ” on the other hand is an incomplete phrase, assuming I’ve got my grammar and catechism straight.)
WISH NUMBER TWO:
I’d choose a fixed and unified date for Easter. It’d be March 25th. And this is more fun and interesting than you’d expect at first glance. It goes like this. Humour me here.
We synchronize our watches first. The whole world would start using the same o’clock numbers. Let’s go with Mountain Standard Time and of course we’d get rid of the ridiculous riddle called Daylight Savings Time. So if it’s 3 o’clock in MST, you’d just move the proverbial (if the mountain won’t come to Mohamet then Mohamet will come to the mountain) or the biblical (don’t know line and verse numbers – a true Catholic, you see – go ask that guy over there – he used to be Evangelical) mountain to where you live, and you’d acknowledge that it’s 3 o’clock MST as well. What does it matter that now 2 a.m. means it’s time for lunch where you live? Everyone is in fact eating all around the clock and working too. You may work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or you may work from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. It already happens anyway.
Besides, imagine the simplicity it would bring to our world, one filled with more travellers than ever imagined by the people who came up with time zones.
Or here’s an idea: you could say it doesn’t stand for ‘Mountain.’ We could say it stands for Marian. That sounds like a Catholic idea, a Chestertonian idea. I like it: Marian Standard Time.
Oh I like this day-dream. Please don’t wake me up.
Easter would begin at 12:30 a.m. MST on March 25th. We would celebrate that as the moment of Christ’s resurrection.
And as for the moment of Christ’s death, we would remember that at 5:00 p.m MST every March 24th.
Quite the daydream, hey?
So no longer would we be unsure as to when Easter is ‘this year.’ No longer would east and west church celebrate on different dates. You’ll say, “Ah yes, but we’re changing EVERYTHING now. There was this blogger, see . . . ” What blogger? “Well, we’re not exactly sure why anybody cares what she thinks, but it might have something to do with some oven mitt.”
But really, imagine just for a moment.
The entire world would bend at the knee at precisely the same predictable moment every year. It would be 5 p.m. MST March 24th, and then nobody would go to bed, no matter whether the sun was up or down or half-way in between in that part of the world. And then, at 12:30 a.m. MST March 25th, there would be a party like you’ve never experienced. It would be a rejoicing like never ever before – like the Feast of the Annunciation rolled into Easter (how appropriate, as a matter of fact) rolled into a New Year’s celebration.
I’ve always liked a party.
Men, who had been growing their beards all through Lent (let’s pretend) would, if they wanted, shave them off on March 25th and their wives would sigh a sigh of relief. Or maybe they’d lament the loss of the Furry One. In any case, hey, it’s a new man! Hey, good looking! Hey, you! Fancy meeting you here! A new man means, um, hey! – a baby born around December 25th! What a neat coincidence! Oh what fun!
Our hours of sadness compressed. From three days to a few hours, or liturgically speaking, arguably, to almost nothing at all, if it can still be said that celebrations for Easter can begin the evening before . . . Hmm. If I could choose, I’d say let’s give ourselves that period of mourning, of solemn faces and grief, tribulation and groaning. Symbolic, yes, but worth experiencing. A time of waiting = Holy Saturday it is called.
But please understand: I am not starting some new kind of church. I am not starting something new inside our already existing and beautiful Roman Catholic Church. Take this all as daydream of what-if and Maybe Some Day. You won’t find me leading, replacing or challenging our Pontiff. I follow Pope Francis as I followed Pope Benedict and as I followed Pope John Paul II. I disturb their teaching not one bit at all. Don’t make a wikipedia page about me please. If you do, I’ll insult wikipedia more than I have. (As it is, I think you’ll agree, I’ve left it largely in peace.)
WISH NUMBER THREE: Ah, I suppose you would say that the previous wish was actually two wishes, because in selecting a fixed date for Easter, I ‘slipped in’ the part about abolishing time zones.
What can I say?
In my defence, I shall invoke the famous phrase, well known to you all. Here it is:
So, moving along, wish number 3. What would it be?
Oh yes, here it is. (I knew there was something.)
WISH NUMBER THREE:
I’d like to do a movie, and it would have to be Cinderella. It would be a version which shows the Catholic roots of this fairy-tale. In other words, it would be the real thing. A holy project, a project based in Holy Wood, don’t you know.
And, keeping to the theme of the theatrical, I’d like to do a nativity play. I’d name it after Karol Wojtyla because he was an actor and he believed in the power of the Word to change the world.
My three wishes, Lord.