Monday, April 13, 2009

Super Soakers and Holy Water

Well we made it and what a ride. There was so much going on at Church this weekend, but we managed to make it to the 4 main events. There are a few things that stuck out at me.

First thing I think most Priests genuinely look forward to this. Especially Easter Vigil on Saturday night. There's a lot going on with a big fire at the back of church representing the light of Christ - the flame then spreads throughout the darkened church with everyone holding a candle. But the part these men look forward to most definitely seems to be when we renew our baptismal vows. The whole congregation repeats the vows and then the priest goes through the church and sprinkles everyone with holy water.

It seems they get more generous with the holy water every year it's only a matter of time until the priests are walking through the church with super soakers set to a wide spray and just hitting the fire button. I can imagine the retreat weekends they hold for young men considering entering the priesthood are just about sitting around watching videos about how throw as much water as possible.

They do the baptismal rite on Easter Sunday as well, but I think the priests are a little more restrained with all the extra people around on Sunday morning. Incidentally there were a lot of extra people around in our small parish on Sunday morning. We enjoyed Easter Sunday mass from the front steps because the standing room only section at the back was already full - and we weren't even late.

Suffice to say it was a joyful time at Church this weekend, which brought to mind a quote I read from Ayatollah Khomeini, who I think is as close as you get to an equivalent of the pope in the Muslim world. Anyway he was quoted saying:
"Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun or joy in whatever is serious."
Wow - glad I'm Catholic. I gotta say I prefer living in the joy of the Resurrection. But we Christians got our solemn moments as well. Good Friday was time to fast and reflect on the pain, suffering and brutal death that Jesus endured for our sins. It was a good reminder for me that God's love is real and tangible. It's easy to get disappointed and question His love and fairness when really important things just don't go our way. But Good Friday shows us the depth of Christ's love and that there really is no reason at all for us to hold on to any anger we have at Him.

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