as far as smells and bells are concerned - I love them. as y’all know, I generally pro-ritual, pro-chanting, anti-applause-during-liturgy. I am a firm believer in the power and importance of ritual to draw us into a liminal space and change us. I get so excited when the fancy liturgical seasons come upon us and I know there’s gonna be more incense, more chanting, fancier decorations.
but. I think there is also a power and importance of ordinary time and in the ordinary trappings of an ordinary mass. the combination of ritual + simplicity + every-day-ness of atmosphere reminds us of something important - the every-day-ness of our transcendent/incarnate/living god.
if we only associate ritual and sacredness with foreignness, with dark smoky light and spooky bass chanting (which I love), we risk forgetting that eating a meal with our friends, helping a customer at work, sitting on the bus looking out the window, listening to a pop song, are also sacred opportunities for reverence, meditation, christian joy, and encounters with god. I think there’s a need for both. experiences of both transcendence and incarnation. eternity and the present moment. chanting and folk hymns.
Too many of our children are not growing up,
They’re growing in;
Instead of becoming engineers and building their future,
They are becoming mathematicians,
Counting calories on scales they can never live up to.
And what do we have to offer them but empty plates?
In open hands We feed them magazines,
Full of images of what they perceive is pretty;
And they will take it,
Their five fingered forks
Filling their empty bellies with dead trees,
Hoping the branches won’t break on the way,
While we cut them down;
Their idols Imposters;
Neon paintings of people who never existed,
Splayed on billboards to be dissected by the masses,
Their holy guts a crucifix to beauty;
And they eat them up,
Getting stuck in their teeth,
Like wish bones that were never whole.
They’re left unfulfilled,
Starving for the next thing,
As we shove packages marked ‘fat free’
Down into their core
And preach epidemics of obesity,
But we never taught them to be full.
We teach them ribs are sexy,
So they count every one,
A notch in their belt;
Hollow cheeks and sunken eyes attractive,
That the gap in their thighs should be wide enough,
To see the girl behind them,
And send them to their Graves early;
Long before they’re dead.
Because being frail means you are a woman;
We made them women before they even knew.
We shamed their bodies with smiles on our faces,
So they wouldn’t know the difference,
And then watched them fade away
Congratulating every pound.
We need to teach them size doesn’t matter;
To wear their joy.
That they are more then three syllables,
Worth more then a 9 letter word;
That every angle and curve is perfect
Because there’s no one in the world like them.
That editing programs do not create people,
And the next time someone makes them feel
less then fucking perfect,
Shove their forks in their faces
And give them something they can chew.
“Make of this creature a spiritual lamb of the holy flock of Christ, Your Anointed One, a worthy member of Your Church, a sanctified vessel, a child of light, and a daughter and heir to Your kingdom, so that living in accordance with Your commandments, keeping intact the Seal, and preserving her baptismal robe without stain, she may attain to the blessedness of the Saints in Your kingdom.”