Showing posts with label domestication of transcendence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label domestication of transcendence. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Church 45 year old White Brunette Married Catholic Women With Kids And A Job Want

OK, I'll let some blondes in too.
As Annie Selak opines, we're getting a new Pope soon, barring an apocalypse.  So she wrote a blog piece in WaPo asserting that she is a young woman, and she works with young people, so she should know: what is the Catholic Church young people want?  By that standard, I have a blog, I'm middle aged, and I work with middle aged people, and we want a Catholic Church too!  All these young people, they get their youth ministers, their service trips, their skits.  The 45 year old White Brunette Married Catholic Women With Kids And A Job have been quiet too long.  We are Church, Hear Us Roar...all the way to the conclave.

The Catholic Church That We Want is:

  1. Going to provide free childcare.  Really, you want me to attend a Bible Study or committee meeting or adult enrichment session?  Pony up for some college students to watch my kids for an hour.  Also, buy a handful of toys for the nursery that aren't broken.  In fact, just have a mom and dad's night out evening and let us drop off our kids.  Thanks.
  2. Occasionally Going To Send Me A Pizza.  Everyone knows that when you are crammed between work and hungry kids, pizza is the second bread of life.  Just stop being so darn pastoral and give me a pizza when I look down.  Or a tuna casserole or taco hotdish.  As with all Church food, it's the thought that counts, so I'm not picky.
  3. Not Going To Make My Kids Do Many Crafts Every Faith Formation Session.  I'm running out of room for these "craft trophies."
  4. Going To Enable Me To Lose 10 lbs And Whiten My Teeth While Earning $100 A Day While Surfing The Web.  Because according to Facebook, this is apparently what I really, really, really need.
  5. Going To Have A Scrapbooking Nook In The Foyer.  Look, all the cool retreat houses are getting on board with this. 
  6. Going To Play Liturgical Music That Sounds Indistinguishable From Sarah McLaughlin.
  7. Holding Adult Enrichment Sessions On The Theology Of Downton Abbey.
  8. Never Going To Make Us Participate In A Skit Again. Zumba, now you're talkin'.
  9. Going To Have A Parish Nurse Discuss Menopause Privately With Us.
  10. Never Going To Ordain Women.  Please, I'm already taking care of the rest of the world.  I'm freakin' busy and don't have time to take care of you too.

Or, perhaps, what we want is a Church for human beings, more like what Bad Catholic suggests here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Exclusive: Watch Me Go Quietly Insane Through A Theologically Wacked VBS Song

I looked worse than this.
(Wherein I prove I can be a Catholic momblogger.)

I try to be bigger than this, honest I do, and I love VBS.  Every year my kids like it and they come home with good insights about the topic of the week.  And this year's probably had the best "take home" CD of songs yet...catchy and fun and some were even theologically touching and deep.  Then there were two songs near the end....

In order not to publicly humiliate the artist of this song, I am not going to name it, or him, or the VBS program.  But for goodness sakes, I have been having a running debate with this song, which my kids want to listen to every day, for nine weeks straight.  (If you are thinking, hey, you're the parent, turn it off, remember that the rest of the album is great and I am usually in the middle of helping a child potty train or something).  I have officially snapped.  At least my mental cry of theological anguish may entertain you.

This song is about St. Peter, and has a rousing go go go! refrain. By the end of the song, I only wish I could.  It begins like this:

Hello folks, my name's Pete
Gonna tell you a story with a brand new beat!

--I realize that opening line is enough to make the trad readers out there howl like wolves.  But hey, they're little kids, and I'm OK with the light touch for something like VBS.

Out on the sea fishing one day
and a man walked across the water to say
"Go do the work of the Lord"

--OK, not to get literalist, but this isn't doing anything for Catholics' general rep as slackers in scripture studies.  Jesus walks on water after the disciples have been called, not as a first meeting.  I know it cuts down on the drama, but see, it has the advantage of being accurate.

It continues:

"What? How?" I ask
walking cross the water's an impossible task.
He came over, gave me his arm,
and said "Pete--I'll keep you safe from harm--

--Well, gee, Peter's crucifixion must have come as a particularly nasty surprise to him.  Jesus NEVER SAID I'LL KEEP YOU SAFE FROM HARM.  I know this may be hard teaching to tender young second graders, but still, you shouldn't be planting falsehoods in the mouth of Jesus.  How about "Pete--you gotta trust me now--go do the work of the Lord."  That works!  Even inserting "la la la la la la" would be less nuts than making up a brand new theology for the tot crowd.  What's he been listening to, Joel Osteen sermons?

--Go Do the Work of the Lord."

Refrain: Go Go--St Peter Go--Go Go--be the Rock--Go Go--St Peter Go and Do the Work of the Lord!

(Yeah, fine.  It's OK and its catchy.  Moving on)

I said yes, I'd follow that man
and so did 11 of my best friends,

(I don't know that they were best buds before meeting Jesus, but OK, maybe it refers to friendship afterward.)

The soldiers came and took him away 
and as he hung on the cross, I heard him saaaaaaaaaaay--

--PETE, YOU DIDN'T HEAR HIM SAY SQUAT!  You weren't there!  You ran away!  The cock crowed three times and then you wept bitterly?  Are you holding that last note for three measures to help you remember something you didn't witness?  What, were you bilocating?

"Go Do the Work of the Lord!"

No, it was "I thirst" and "Father, forgive them" and "Father, Into your hands I commit my spirit."  But hey, close enough!  Not.


Spoken: Hey Kids, how do YOU do the work of the Lord?
Kids speak: Do my homework!  (Singer: Sure!)
Wash the dishes!  (Singer: Good one!)
Clean my room!  (Singer: That's right!)

--While I appreciate the not so subtle help in getting my kiddos to help more around the house and do their work, unless he is going all "Therese's little way" on me, I wouldn't call this sort of thing the work of the Lord.  At least, not as a first teaching.  Oh, but it gets better:

Brush my teeth! (Singer: Brush my teeth?!)

--Well, what the freaking heck.  If we're making cleaning the house the work of the Lord, brushing teeth ought to count too!  We're taking care of our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.  Cleaning bodies works as well as washing the dishes, right??!!!  p.s. flossing is not the work of the Lord, though.  It's just a pain.

and Pray.

--finally, we have one winner, although I am surprised we're not praying about cleaning the house at this point.  You know, here's my list of what I'd like kids to learn in a song like this:  Be kind to other kids!  Help the poor!  Tell people about God!  Love your enemies!  Pray!  Would that have been so hard?


( I twitch uncontrollably.)

I don't know what the moral of this rant is other than I desperately want someone to feel my pain.  This ain't martyrdom but it ain't pretty either, day after day after day.  And someone, write some theologically good VBS music.  It can be done.  But this isn't it.

And also, my second grader walked up to me last week and said "You know, Mom, that song's crazy.  Those things aren't really the best work of the Lord.  Martha was told to sit and listen to Jesus."  God bless my second grader and our very messy house.  Amen. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Maybe the wonderworker will get me a hole in one!

Yes, this exists because Anthony of Padua, this amazing preacher and miracleworker, is also the patron saint of lost items.

I can't get over the idea of whacking a saint with a golf club.

For sale here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Domestication of Transcendence: or, Why I Prefer Minnesota

Your entire summer church festival schedule on a wonderfully offensive t-shirt

Of course. My neighbor to the east, Milwaukee: land of festivals, beer, and Catholics.

I'm just too Southern to appreciate this, and too newly Minnesotan to not rub it in. Wave this short in front of a Baptist and he'd faint dead away. Plus it's trivializing the Lord of the Universe.

In other words, bleah.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How To Strike the Grandeur of the Exodus Into Your Child's Stomach

(In honor of the lectionary readings this week.)

I appreciate the difficulty of rearing children in the faith. I appreciate a nice rainy day activity with fun food and a story.

But, please.

Found here....

  • Red Jello (Red Sea)

  • Jelly babies or Jelly beans (Moses or you could use them for Pharaoh's army)

  • Rectangle tin/container

  • Spoons

Make the Jello in a rectangle container.
Then give each child a Jelly bean.
They each get a spoon and take turns eating their way through the middle to the other side.
At the end they can eat the Jelly beans.

(Except there's no cannibalism in the Exodus story, people! And drown those Jelly Beans first!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Mr. Tabernacle"

Sherry Antonetti, Catholic mother of eight and a humorist (I'd think you would have to be) at Chocolate for your Brain, has an amusing yet horrifying post about Vacation Bible School at her parish:

...Vacation Bible School. By all rights, I should love it. It’s inexpensive. It takes all comers. There’s not usually a rush to sign up so slacker moms like me can get spots. It takes a whole week. The woman who runs the thing is absolutely lovely. But despite all the pluses, I delay and hesitate signing up because of the illustrations that to my sensibilities, assault my capacity for reverence.

I speak of two horrors to my intellect created for the purposes of Vacation Bible School Catholic Style.


2) Mr. Tabernacle. There are times I wish words would fail me. An illustrated smiling tabernacle which opens its chest to reveal the consecrated host, stares up at me from the assorted sheets for coloring. Now I know the good people that run my kid’s summer Vacation bible school have opted not to use the character, but images once seen, cannot be unseen. Words read cannot be unread. R2D2 after his final vows remains fixed in my mind.
Go read the whole thing to get to #1.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Truth Is Stranger #79: Lunch in the Tower of Babel!

BERLIN (AFP) - If you ever fancied lunch in the Tower of Babel, visiting an "original size" Noah's Ark or a multimedia depiction of the final battle between Good and Evil, you may not have long to wait.

Under plans announced by a group of Swiss evangelical Christians and reported by the German press on Wednesday, Genesis Park, a theme park based on the Bible, will open at a yet to be chosen site in Germany by 2012.

It will group some 40 attractions over an area the size of 70 football pitches encompassing all areas of the Christian story, according to the organisers' website.

The centrepiece will be what the organisers call an "original size" Noah's Ark which is 150 metres (490 feet) long and surrounded by water.

Other attractions will include two roller coasters -- one giving an idea of the Great Flood and another on the theme of heaven and hell -- a miniature version of Biblical-era Israel and a Roman amphitheatre.

Well. That's the way to get people to take Scripture seriously. Turn it into a theme park experience! Whee!

I shudder to think how they are going to handle the crucifixion.

Breaking news!: Martin Luther found rolling in his grave for the Fatherland.

Full article here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Theological Rant 2.0: No Mediocrity for the Dying

By way of explanation: I normally encourage people to laugh at themselves (and include myself in that number). Honestly, many of the details of what gets people hot and bothered about the Christian Faith and Catholic Church don't bug me so much. Pope Benedict wants more Gregorian chant? Fine, I like that. I also like some of the Gather hymnal. I'm not too fussed about vernacular vs. Latin. But what gets me riled up is mediocrity. So let's call this an occasional series against mediocrity. First theological rant here.

I posted most of this months ago at Korrektiv, in response to a "surprised by good contemporary liturgy" post by the inestimable "Rufus McCain":

I know what you mean. I don't have as big a beef with contemporary liturgy per se; I was actively involved in it for years and think it is done quite well at my current parish. Perhaps the bigger issue is that, in most parishes, there is the pervading sense that “we just don't care.” Apathy. Ennui. Forgetting that we're participating in a divine liturgy that saved the cosmos; treating it like tea time with a groovy musical backdrop.

I have been thinking about death, in particular, who will be there when I die, who will help me, if anyone. (So help me, I read Kierkegaard my entire undergraduate life.) My husband has recently been a catechist at our church, teaching a mini-course called “What Happens When We Die?” to teens and adults. The course mostly reflected on doctrines and interpretations of heaven, hell, and purgatory, but he did ask a local Christian hospital chaplain in to speak. Apparently she spoke of needing to know your values and spirituality, and if you knew those things, that bode well for a good death. Right. Here I am, stepping into the abyss, but hey, I know my values. I'm hunky-dory now.

That reminded me of a young friend going through Clinical Pastoral Education en route to Episcopal ordination, and her revelation about hospital chaplaincy was that you just listened and repeated back what the patient said. Carl Rogers at the death-bed. Mind you, I think Rogers was a brilliant psychologist, but pure patient-directed counseling as said patient lies ill and in pain seems almost sadistic. “I'm in pain and really scared,” he says. “Really? In pain and scared, you say?” says the 22 year old CPE student. Please. If I were the patient, I'd be tempted to take that last bit of energy and throw my bedpan at said counselor. Then die, choking out the words “Get … a … spine!”

Not that I have any control over this…but when I die, I want someone to remind me about the love of Jesus Christ. I want someone to ask me about repentance and offer reconciliation. I want someone to challenge me that the best is yet to come, that this suffering joins me with Christ, and like his suffering, it is not the last word. God is here and God will be there and has already broken my path for that journey. I want to receive the anointing of the sick, and be reminded that God will raise me up. I don't want someone asking if I'm “in touch with my values.” And especially if I am weak and in pain, I hope the person helping me have a holy, joyful death will not expect me to “take the lead.”

But if that does not happen, God will be there anyway. The Holy Spirit will not leave us unattended. Those thousands of pleas to Mary to pray for us at the hour of our death will not go unheeded.

And this is a little like the lackluster liturgy issue. You expect more, want more, out of this community dedicated to Christ. And it should be more. The liturgy may not be exquisitely rendered, but it should be participated in such a way that one senses joy, or awe. We want the liturgy and all death-bed relationships (are they not similar? are we not all in this death-struggle to give birth, through the Holy Spirit, to a transformed self?) to tell us the truth in love, to hold our hands, to give us some opportunity to thank and praise God for His goodness.

Yet the Holy Spirit works through much less. Maybe especially so, to take Miss Flannery seriously.

I'm not sure what the point of this is, other than perhaps…thank you, God. Have mercy on us, God.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Truth Is Stranger #61: There Are No Words

From a website apparently intending to promote the Gospel called We Are Fishermen:

"I am Victory" figurine.
There are four more: Jesus running a football, riding a Harley, rising a bucking bronco, and holding a "Will Work for Food". (OK. the last one was kind of interesting. But...)

I tell you, this inspires reverence. Not.
In fact, it may even be worse than this.

HT to Ship O' Fools.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Latest In Bad Religious Marketing

The Electronic Rosary

OK. But ways in which it could be worse?
  • Tone specific beeps after each Hail Mary (high), Our Father (low), and Glory Be (three identical static beeps for the Trinity).
  • Ringtone for each mystery remembered: Sorrowful ("O Sacred Head Now Wounded"), Glorious ("Jesus Christ is Risen Today"), Joyful ("Jesus, Lover of My Soul"), and Luminous ("O Radiant Light").
  • "Ta-Dah! Way to honor The Blessed Mother and grow closer to Christ! See you tomorrow!" ending after closing prayer.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Domestication of Transcendence

...on a billboard, naturally.

In case you think you're too busy to click through to see this atrocity, there is a blinking light on Jesus' forehead.

"I'm the Light of the World!, I'm not...I'm the Light of the World! I'm not...."

(First runner-up..., second runner-up....)