I hadn’t been to a Catholic Mass in at least twenty years. This church was new, large, white inside and out. There were large TV screens on the walls so attendees could follow along with songs and repeat lessons aloud. It was a beautiful funeral, but also interspersed with some strange messaging.
At one point, toward the end of the ceremony, words flashed across the screens, subliminal propaganda that seemed jarring and out of place.
These particularly stood out:
Jesus will only know you in death.
Do not pray for riches and wealth, but rather pray for the nets in order to do your work. You will know wealth after death.
Basically, the message was – Life sucks. Accept that it sucks, it gets better after you die. Unless you don’t follow the rules we made up, and don’t work without question even though it likely won’t bring you wealth, then things don’t get better. Then, you go to Hell. And Hell is worse than your life, which is also Hell.
And Jesus is Love, under certain conditions.
Is this supposed to be comforting? Death cults are weird.
I was born into Mormonism. I don’t remember much of it, my parents had a divorce and we were excommunicated (thank God – ha!) from the church when I was three. I went to Sunday school at a Methodist church in the little town where I grew up – not because my parents made me – but because I wanted to be around other kids, and, for craft time. I found the actual religion part of it filled with contradictions – I quickly got into trouble for asking too many questions and cracking jokes.
Even an eight year old can spot hypocrisy.
And I had the gift of naming the elephant in the room. I didn’t have the filter to not see it – and I though everyone else could see it, too.
Don’t you hate feeling stifled by the elephant taking up so much space, and it’s poop all over the place? And I feel bad for the elephant, I’m sure it would be happier outside.
I’m digesting a lot from the last week – and feel like I am gathering some fragments of myself that I have lost over the years. This is good. And it’s uncomfortable. A new level of being myself is emerging.
What is there to be afraid of?
In the meantime, all this religious talk has reminded me of Mel Brooks and his delightful interpretation of the Spanish Inquisition.
I mean, wow! What a production!
Life is short. Humor is holy.
Peace and love,
February 26, 2021