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18 March 2009

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I can't figure out what this says about me, but I still carry a rosary in my purse. I've long forgotten the proper order of the prayers, but I still have carry it.

I can think of worse things to have in your purse, Melanie. I myself still wear a medal on a chain that says "I am a Catholic--Please call a priest." This has the dual purpose of making me feel happy and safer, and making me giggle (three purposes; whenever I hold infant and toddler nieces and nephews they always go for the chain and play with it)--I always think it maybe should say, "Please also call 911, depending on how bad things look," but then, I've never been accused of having a normal sense of humor.

The part I didn't like was having to miss school the morning of Ash Wednesday and then go around all day with a big thumb print on my forehead. I swear our priest must have had Guiness Book record-winning thumbs on him.

I converted to Catholicism in 2006 from Protestantism. I learned about Catholicism both pre- and post-Vatican II and I definitely could not be a Catholic if pre-Vatican II rules were re-instated (note to Pope Benedict VI, ahem). Not being able to understand what is going on in Mass because it is in Latin? Not cool to me. Not having the priests face you during the service? Completely lacking in connection for the parish. Mel Gibson and I would so not get along. :) I don't know how I would feel reading this book.

Rebecca,
This is very interesting. It's sad, actually, how little I know about Vatican II and the changes it made; I'll have to read up on it. Although I think a Latin mass might be pretty to listen to, I can't imagine how it would work. Were all the readings and everything in Latin? Weird. That would get very dull, very fast.

Is Mel Gibson getting along with anyone these days? :)

I don't know what to tell you about how you would find this book. My attitude toward religion in general is that it is an institution, and you can't really blame the institution for what people do (if you did, we couldn't have governments or monetary systems either, I feel). I've lived with and known people of several different religions and I can't say I've ever come across one that didn't have some issues. I actually kind of love reading these types of books (even though this one was really tough); I feel you can't fix problems unless you take a long hard look at them first. Although, if you're looking for a questioning book, I'd suggest Peter Manseu's "Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and their Son" over this one. Also a tough read, but really, really thoughtful.

Jessica,
Classic story (record thumbs, tee hee). Isn't that the same day they have the readings about not showing off how you're fasting, too? That never made any sense to me either. Now if I go to Ash Wednesday services I just wipe my forehead off right after church. Much easier.

Thanks for the tip on Peter Manseu's book. Yes, everything was in Latin pre-Vatican II. No one knew what was actually being said because obviously it is a dead language. I like the changes the church has made and I hope Pope Benedict XVI will not conservatize (I just made that word up, like it?) the church too much. I like tradition but I like it with a sense of worldliness, as well. I agree that no institutions are perfect, just as there are no perfect people. We all just have to find where we fit in. Thanks for the response. I will look into Manseu's book.

Rebecca,
Wow, everything in Latin. That would make church seem very long and unintelligible indeed, I would think.
I wish you luck with the Manseau book. It's not an easy read by any means but it was very, very thoughtful and interesting. If you ever read it pop back in and let me know what you think, okay?

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