Nov 12, 2008
Forgive Me Father....
So I’m working at our parish’s Monte Carlo this past Saturday night and I start thinking, “Why is it that I volunteer my time for all sorts of church fundraisers but I only go to mass twice a year?” Good question. Why raise money for something I hardly ever attend? And more importantly, why don’t I attend? After a few seconds of deep thought, I ultimately concluded what I always conclude- I don’t attend because I just don’t get much out of the mass.
According to my calculations, I’ve sat through somewhere between 1,200 – 1,300 catholic masses in my lifetime. Just how many times can I say the Our Father, the Apostolic whatever, share the sign of peace, hear about Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, or mouth the words to “One Bread, One Body” and actually squeeze any morsel of meaning out of it? It’s like going to see the same film 1,300 times. An art film. Partly in Latin with no subtitles and more than a moderate amount of required viewer participation. I mean, I know how it’s going to end- with me uninspired and dangerously close to falling over asleep and cracking my skull on the pew. That happened to Scott Davis in the sixth grade and it looked painful & embarassing so I'd rather try to avoid that if possible. Anyway, the only difference from one mass to another is the homily, or as I like to call it, Father's Halftime Monologue.
I’ve always had a problem with the homily. Well, not always, I’ve heard a dozen or so in my lifetime that made me shrug & raise an eyebrow, maybe shake my head and concede agreement. But the majority of the time it’s just some common sense rooted in the “Do unto others” lesson and dished out by a man who’s never had to deal with a wife, raise a family, make a house payment, or work at a job that would fire you if you were to found to be sodomizing a twelve year old boy. Not super inspiring. Instead, I get more inspiration and enlightenment from people who get paid to be interesting and thought-provoking. Those who, if they fail in either category, cease to be employed any longer. I’m speaking of authors, screenwriters, playwrights, talk show hosts, speechwriters, joke writers, songwriters, editorialists, and the people who do the in-store advertising for Steak ‘n Shake (I love their fucking placemats).
What can I say; we each are moved by different messages from different sources. Mine just so happen to come from almost everywhere except the church. That doesn’t mean that I disagree with the church. On the contrary, I still hold almost all of the same values and beliefs that were drummed into my head during my formative years. Not that you necessarily care but I’m pro-life, pro-charity, pro-Golden Rule, and anti-anything that violates the Ten Commandments. Except number ten, I mean, that’s just not seemingly possible. And of course number four is obviously tough for me given the whole premise of this entry.
So anyway, back to the original question- “Why is it that I volunteer my time for all sorts of church fundraisers but I only go to mass twice a year?” The answer is actually pretty easy. I do it because I believe in the church community, more specifically, in the good that the church community can do. The charitable works of the church are almost unparalleled and the lessons & loving support of the community can do wonders for our children’s moral compass and sense of belonging. Plus, Monte Carlo night, the festivals, bingo, - they all involve beer, gambling, and a nice handful of milfs. There are more reasons but you don’t really care. Hell, I’d put down $10 worth of leftover Monte Carlo night poker chips that less than three of you are still with me and actually reading this. I’ll put down another $10 that one of you still reading is Mit. What up, Mit? Catholic boys in the HOUUUUSE!!!
Now, on with the matchups….
Jets at Patriots-
Thou shall not retire, unretire, then seek fortune elsewhere. If so, the Lord shall empower an unlikely force to dash your hopes and generally fuck up your world when you stand on the precipice of glory.
Broncos at Falcons-
Thou shall not make it look easy as a rookie quarterback. Unless you are a ginger kid. In that case, the Lord shall give you a pass to make up for creating you as a ginger kid.
Vikings at Bucs-
Thou shall not pose as a purple version of my son. Unless, of course, you are hella-quick, can turn five yard losses into twenty yard gains, and can smack the shit out of dreadlocked defensive backs.
Ravens at Giants-
Thou shall not commit murder.
Raiders at Dolphins-
Honor thy contracts and obligations, that your days may be long upon the land despite any deteriorated mental state or simple loss of thine fucking mind.
Saints at Chiefs-
Thou shall not go for two when thou’s team is just an extra point away from tying the game with mere seconds left on the clock. Remember this, for the Lord likes overtime.
Lions at Panthers-
Thou shall remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your pool boy, nor your coaches, nor your players, nor your equipment manager, nor your trainers. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
(The Lions are not only on their way to 0-16, they’re going to fuckin’ heaven.)
Eagles at Bengals-
Thou shall honor thy father and mother. Do not desecrate that which your parents have given you. Shall you find yourself in need of a general manager to help preserve the fruit of your father’s labor, then by all means, hire a general manager. If thou fails to do so, I shall send an inbred militia to your doorstep.
(Oh. My. God.)
Bears at Packers-
Thou shall not bear false witness against da bears. Also, no gay stuff.
Texans at Colts-
Thou shall not claim that everything is bigger in Texas. I am all-knowing and I can tell you that not everything is bigger in Texas. Case in point: penises. Not many black guys in Texas. Penises are much bigger, on the average, in Mississippi and Uganda.
Rams at Niners-
Damn the Niners, Damn them straight to HELL!!!!
Cardinals at Seahawks-
Thou shall not think it’s going to be easy to just waltz up to Seattle and bitch slap the defending division champs. What do you think; they’re just going to lay down on the week Hasselbeck returns to action? Whatev. Oh, and uh, thou shall not steal.
Titans at Jaguars-
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. I don’t care if you’re 9-0, Jeff Fisher is not Me. Would I be caught dead with that mustache? Seriously. Yes Gabriel, I remember the muttonchops I sported, but that was in the 70’s. I let a lot of shit slide in the 70’s. I’m telling you, I have not taken the image of Jeff Fisher. And anyone else who thinks tha- Moses, take off the Titans jersey. Fuck, you guys. You know what, ZAP! There you go, now I’ve just made it so they’re gonna lose in Jacksonville. Maybe at about 4:00 this Sunday you’ll finally believe me.
Chargers at Steelers-
Thou shall not deliver cheap shots as a wide receiver. Doing so will elicit a bounty on thine head, a bounty sought by every defensive player in the league as well as my arch angels. Watch your knees, Hines.
Cowboys at Redskins-
Thou shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's. Even his cheerleaders. Okay, maybe his cheerleaders.
Browns at Bills-
Thou shall not take this blog seriously. God, if you’re watching (and I know you are), please do not smite me or deliver plague onto my family, friends or cattle. This is all meant in jest and in no way meant to demean you or disrespect you. May the glory and honor be yours almighty father, forever and ever. And the lesson, as always: I’m an idiot. Seriously, I’m heavily banking on the fact that you have a kickass sense of humor. You like pie, right? Let me buy you a slice of key lime and we’ll talk this out. Actually, let’s hug it out first. No? Okay, the pie, then who knows, maybe hugs.
Posted by Smitty