October 22, 2010 – Who Said Church Isn’t Interesting?

There is a long standing tradition with the blog that I proudly continue today – well, maybe I shouldn’t say proudly, but I continue it nonetheless.  I take someone else’s good idea and make it my own.  Hey, you’re not paying to read this – cut me some slack (ha, ha).  I received a very funny e-mail the other day.  It was a video that showed some in-church bloopers including a holy water shower, knoching over the baptismal font, and a host that was dropped and wound up in a ladies’ ummm, front upper torso area.  Watching this video reminded me of many of the embarassing situations that I have found myself in over the years in our fair church.

Being a server presents certain on the job hazards that one has to deal with.  There are the eventual moments when a candle will not light, when a glob of wax will wind up on the carpet, when you grab the cassock that is too long and you trip on it , when you breathe in a little too much incense, when you mix up the water and wine and make the priest’s hands smell like a distillery when you pour it, and the list goes on.  And you thought being a server was easy?

And of course other roles present their own set of challenges, such as being an extraordinary minister when a small child grabs for the host as if it were a cookie.  Or being a lector when the microphone doesn’t work, or when you can’t find the right page in the lectionary, or when you come across a word that you swear you never saw before.  I can only imagine the stories priests could tell about their experiences over the years.

I am not the most coordinated person in the world, so I have created my own set of bloopers over the years.  You may remember years ago that the cross we used in procession was a tall brass cross.  I swear this cross had a vex on me.  For example, the first time I came out of the sacristy with it, no one mentioned that the cross was too tall to hold straight up and get through the doorway.  So of course the top of the cross clanged off of the top of the doorway.  Talk about starting Mass off with a bang.

I also had an incident with the cross during a visit by Bishop Wurm.  We were waiting in the back of church for Mass to start.  Thinking that the cross was securely standing against the balcony stairway, I was not paying any attention to it.  Suddenly the cross tips over, striking the holy water basin along the way, making the floor “holy ground”.  Fortunately Bishop Wurm was a very easy going guy and nothing was said about it, although Fr. Kribs gave me a glare that could have bored a hole through a concrete wall.

As I think everyone would agree, things go wrong at the most inappropriate moments.  During my Confirmation ceremony, one of the main fuses blew leaving the church without many of the lights and without the organ.  However what turned out to be a “candlelight” ceremony actually turned out to be very nice.  So anyone who ever says church isn’t entertaining either isn’t going to church enough or just isn’t paying attention.  And there is no doubt in my mind that God has one whale of a sense of humor, and must really get a kick out of watching us humans try to maneuver through this thing we call life.

No matter how much we desire that things be perfect, no matter how much we want things to go smoothly, eventually the human element takes effect and something will not go as planned.  In a lot of interviews with coaches and athletes they will talk about not getting too high after a win or after something good happens, and not getting too low after a loss or after something bad happens.  They will also talk about having “short memories”, or in other words having the ability to put things behind them quickly when things don’t go  their way.

I think one of the real challenges God puts before us is dealing with adversity.  When I was dealing with my recent illness, people would ask me how I could be so patient as I tried different medications and treatments and lifestyle changes in search of relief.  I think it’s just part of my nature that I have always been a pretty even-keeled person, and my health problems certainly forced me to use that gift to the fullest.  And I think I have done a pretty good job – now 41 years old I still have most of my hair and most of it is still brown.  As with anything else, I still have room for much improvement.  When the Cardinals announced the other day that they were bringing back Tony LaRussa as manager for another season, well let’s just say that this kid wasn’t well pleased.  But I’ll keep rolling with the punches and relying on God to guide me through life’s challenges.

The blog has been a great outlet for me to express some opinions, share some random thoughts and to act just plain silly.  It still amazes me that folks visit on a regular basis to read my babble.  Last Saturday for example there were 11 visitors.  Thanks again for reading and for your continued support of our website.

How long can this fantastic weather continue?  Enjoy it while it lasts.  God Bless.  Peace.

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