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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Confiteor (a twofer in the spirit of Lent)

What I say, I don't feel
What I feel I don't show.
What I show isn't real.
What is real, Lord, I don't know.
(Confiteor, from Mass, by Leonard Bernstein (text by Stephen Schwartz)

When I started this blog, I told my wife that I wasn't going to be negative or overly critical of people (or their points of view) this time around, and try to present my own thoughts as positively as I can. So I might have strayed a little off the path with what I wrote this morning about what one priest said in a homily a long time ago about what "Triduum" meant.

I'm not a big believer in WWJD spirituality, but I'm fairly certain this is an example of WJW'ntD.

Since I'm thinking that "being right" is overrated for everyone in the light of the gospel, that not even God held onto like-God-ness in order to love more clearly and completely, I suppose that one has to say the same thing for everyone. There are a lot worse things in life that not knowing when Triduum is, or how to pronounce it, or the difference
between Philippians and the Philippines, an Aramaean and an Armenian, or even that the Immaculate Conception isn't God putting Jesus in Mary's womb. The fact that all of those things happen, that they are facts of my/our history doesn't make them true. There are a lot of worse things in life, and yes, I've actually done some of them. And the very same people who don't get the details and nuances of some of the arcana of theology and geography are really, really good at their jobs and know how to change the oil in their cars. And they feed the hungry, take care of elderly parents, visit the sick and imprisoned, and love other people whether its convenient or inconvenient. 

So, I'm writing this to say that, while precision is important, science is good, and knowledge is the possibility of strength and change, Christianity is experiential, not gnostic. There will be no written exam, not even a true-false, at the end of time. Just that business we heard on the first Monday of the first week of Lent, Christianity 101, first day of class, from the Master himself. 
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
I'll try to pay more attention to it. You can hold me to that. 

Ideo, precor...See you tomorrow.

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