2.10.2005

Bait and Switch: Progressive Catholic Style

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. This marks the start of Lent, the 40 days and 40 nights of mourning the death of Jesus, for Catholics. Believe it or not it always held on a Wednesday.

I went to church with my folks to receive our ashes. To our surprise the service was led by a visiting Augustinian priest. His name is Fr. James Friedel. He gave a good homily about the gospel message of piety and the resistance of fame and accolades.

But the service was supposed to end there. Ash Wednesday is not a day to celebrate Mass. Fr. Friedel continued the service by moving on to celebrate a full mass. Both of my folks glared awkwardly as the service continued into a mass.

The usual short service to receive ashes proceeded to a 95 minute mass. At the end of the mass we received an explanation. As it was revealed the priest decided, with the blessing of the progressive "employees" of the church, the service was extended as the final Lenten retreat mass called "Becoming Aware". The full-time employees of the church organized a special Lenten retreat that consisted of three days of special prayer and town hall style gatherings. Widely unpopular and sparesly attended they chose to make the last Ash Wednesday service the final Lenten retreat mass.

The evening treat was 30 minutes of Liberation Theology from Father Friedel. We learned about the roots of terrorism; poverty.

First, I asked my folks about this irregularity and they said this was the first time in their 50 some odd years of Catholic practice that they had received communion on Ash Wednesday. But the roots of terrorism were enlightening. One of the wealthiest men in the world is the most wanted terrorist in the world and he shuns the wealth in order to live in poverty by choice. Sounds like a plan for a life of hardship, strife and angst.

I'm waiting everyday for the Latin American immigrants to detonate their bombs. Clearly the poverty they face in their hometowns is the reason they have come to the United States. We are just waiting for their terrorism to start.

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