Sunday, January 14, 2007

Biffle and the Catholics

Recently at a party at Alison and Walter's, Walter said that Alison should put out the best wine first (saving the cheap stuff for when every one was good and tipsy) because that's what Jesus would do. Now, I haven't known Walter very long, but he strikes me as the sort who enjoys spinning a good a yarn and saying things just for effect (nothing wrong with that). I assumed that "Jesus would put the good stuff out first" was one of those moments. Imagine my surprise when one of the readings this morning (John 2:1-11 to be exact) in Mass featured the very passage to which Walter referred. Apparently Jesus is quite the gracious host. Does this mean I have to believe everything Walter says from now on?

Today was the last Mass conducted by our substitute priest. Our permanent priest, Father Francis, returns from Nigeria this week and it's not a moment too soon. Last week Brian had to physically restrain me so I wouldn't storm out after substitute guy told us Jesus wants us to be pro-life and, thus, Democrats are evil. I am often dismayed that the Catholicism I have encountered as an adult bears little resemblance to the Catholicism of my childhood in Louisiana. I grew up with nuns in blue jeans and priests influenced by liberation theology. I grew up among Catholics who, as a matter of faith, were more than generous with their time and money and affection. As a matter of faith they were suspicious of wealth and vanity and ego. Many of them indeed were pro-life, frowned upon pre-marital sex and cohabitation without the benefit of marriage and other things (like birth control and women in the priesthood) that make Catholics seems foolish and out of date. But they also believed in the most fundamental aspect of Catholic doctrine--the dignity of human of life. That belief, that people every where in every condition deserve to live and work in dignity, and that we, as a matter of faith, need to do everything in our power to ensure that dignity, keeps me from breaking up with the Church completely. (Well, that and my very Catholic husband committed to raising Catholic children.) But it is increasingly becoming a difficult relationship to maintain.

2 comments:

Alison said...

Lord have mercy, if other people besides me start writing about Biffle on their blogs--and saying things like this!--we will never hear the end of it.

I would still say to take a lot of what Biffle says with a grain of salt, but he did get a solid Biblical upbringing, so he's usually right when it comes to the Bible.

And it seems to me, looking in from the outside, that liberation theology is hard to find anywhere these days. Is Father Francis a liberation theologian?

Conseula said...

I suspect there was precious little liberation theology when I was a little girl. It may have simply been that one priest or just my neighborhood. It's been a while. Father Francis, I suspect, is not a liberation theologian. But he still looks adorable in his priestly frock.

And all during church this morning I kept thinking, "I can't wait to get home and blog this. Walter was right!" It was awfully distracting.