Fourth Wall

Thursday, April 29, 2004

In response...

I mentioned this list in the Calvert lounge today. From


"Question Authority. Ask Me Anything."
"Infallibility on Loan from God."
"God REALLY IS My Co-Pilot."
"Honk if You Pray the Rosary."
"Choose ETERNAL Life."
"Speak Softly and Carry a Big Cross"
"All Roads Lead to Rome."
"Say Mass, Not War."
"Give Me Confession or Give me Death."
"I Brake for Souls."
"Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss."
"Bible On Board."
"My Other Car is Also a Popemobile"
"From Poland With Love"
"I'll Never Get to Meet the Pope Because I Am the Pope."
"Livin' the Vida Papa!"
"Hang Up and Pray."
"Sin Happens."
"Make My Day. Kiss My Ring!"
"I'd Rather Be Saying Mass."
"Honor Student in the College of Cardinals"

My favorite is "My other car is also a Popemobile."

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I suppose it's a bad sign when you start having nightmares about invalid masses.

Monday, April 12, 2004

It's all in the details.

The Triduum, that is.

Like Greg's construction boots sticking out under his alb. Or a ten-year-old girl with beautiful black hair washing her mother's feet. Incense rising from the thurible like prayers to heaven. The sound of rosary beads as the Carmelites go to communion. My favorite hymns. Polishing the repository. The love with which Father Mike wipes the reliquary. St. Gaspar del Bufalo. Singing "Alleluia" for the first time in months. Cold water. The scent of chrism. Suzanne lighting my baptismal candle. Fr. Mike getting the choir a little too wet. Oscillating between laughter and tears. Brian's congratulatory grin when he came by for collection. Sticking my tongue out during the Eucharistic prayer, practicing for receiving the eucharist.

And now I am Catholic.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

On the Magdalene

But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken My Lord, and I don't know where they laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him."
Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher.

John, 20:11-16.

I was expecting my baptismal/confirmation name to stay a secret a little longer than it has, but no. And so it is official: Not Teresa Rose, but Teresa Magdalene. Teresa, for St. Teresa of Avila, whose life brought me to the Catholic church, and St. Therese, who I never particularly liked before I read her Autobiography-- but now that I have, I love the Little Flower. So I had to swallow my desire to be different from every other good little Catholic girl.

But Mary Magdalene is a stranger choice. She's biblical, but it's hard to put together her story. She's the sister of Martha and Lazarus (not the parable's Lazarus, but the Lazarus who was raised from the dead.) Jesus cast out of her seven demons. She anointed his feet with spiced oil and dried it with her hair. She was at the foot of the cross, she aided his burial, and she went to the tomb on the third day, and so she is the "Apostle to the Apostles," because she told them that their Lord had been raised from the dead.

We also know that, despite any confusion caused by Pope St. Gregory the Great, she was not the Woman caught in Adultery. Oh-- and she wasn't married to Jesus either, no matter what the DaVinci code says.

She does a great deal of crying. Her life is one of bitterness, as the name Mary suggests. And yet she is the one who brings news of the sweetness of the resurrection.

So, why Magdalene? Because on my knees with grief, confusion, and despair, lost in a meaningless world with new-age friends playing "on the astral plane" and quite deserving of a stoning myself, I saw her crying in a children't picture book, could look up and see the truth in her tears at the cross, and in her joyous cry of "Rabbouni!" Before Teresa could bring me to his Church, Mary Magdalene's joy brought me back to Christ. And there is nothing I want more now than to kneel in prayer, as she sat at his feet, and listen to him teaching in my heart.

Brother Michael was telling Fr. Dave about my baptism, shaking his head. "She chose Teresa Magdalene. Teresa *loved* the Magdalene..."

Who knew?

Monday, April 05, 2004

On Courtship...

Miklos: "it can be a girl and a girl, or a boy and a boy, or a boy and a vaccuum cleaner..."

Definitely the second dirtiest joke a teacher has ever told in my presence. (Un?)fortunately, I can't remember the first.