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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Choosing to Love

I attended Mass twice this AM -- the first at our student center sorta-parish where I sing on Sunday AMs, and the 2nd to hear the first Sunday Mass of a newly ordained priest, Mark Mossa, SJ.

The gist of the two homilies, if I may combine them, was that we didn't choose God; He chose us. Therefore, others who are in the Church are also chosen of God. My attitudes towards my fellow believers can/may/do influence their abilities to live up to the calling of God upon their lives.

Quote (from someone, Goethe?) heard @ 1st homily:

I am not what I think I am;
I am not what you think I am;
I am what I think you think I am.

Some of God's people, as Screwtape tells Wormwood (* below) are harder to love or be kind to than are others. We decide to love, to support, to care.

I saw this picture when I got home, and it made me think of this morning's homilies. Gus, who lost an eye to a tomcat and a leg to cancer, won this year's ugliest dog competition. His owner will use the prize money to pay for his chemo and radiation treatments. Choosing to care, support, love.

I wonder what we often look like to God, especially when we are more like sheep [who] have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way.

* From chapter II of The Screwtape Letters (one of my favorite passages):
One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do riot mean the Church as we see her spread but through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes I our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate. When he goes inside, he sees the local grocer with rather in oily expression on his face bustling up to offer him one shiny little book containing a liturgy which neither of them understands, and one shabby little book containing corrupt texts of a number of religious lyrics, mostly bad, and in very small print. When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbours whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbours. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like "the body of Christ" and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people that next pew really contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy's side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father below, is a fool. Provided that any of those neighbours sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous. At his present stage, you see, he has an idea of "Christians" in his mind which he supposes to be spiritual but which, in fact, is largely pictorial. His mind is full of togas and sandals and armour and bare legs and the mere fact that the other people in church wear modern clothes is a real—though of course an unconscious—difficulty to him. Never let it come to the surface; never let him ask what he expected them to look like. Keep everything hazy in his mind now, and you will have all eternity wherein to amuse yourself by producing in him the peculiar kind of clarity which Hell affords.

1 comment:

Mark Mossa, SJ said...

It was so nice to have you at the mass and good to meet you!