Saturday, February 21, 2004

o homo inanis

You ignoramus, an English translation of the Letter of St. James puts it. I failed to mention on Friday, when this line from St. James was read at Mass, how much I like being berated by Sacred Scripture, especially first thing in the morning! I marvel at what St. James could write. I marvel at St. Paul's force (Foolish Galatians!). And I consider how ridiculously sensitive our society is. Speaking of the evil, consequences, and seriousness of sin (the thing, mind you) is called judgmental condemnation of a person. No it is not. Handing on sacred truth (i.e., Sacred Tradition) is called narrow and close-minded. Heck, apparently correcting an altar server is taboo FOR THE PRIEST! And no one has the courage to go to the source and speak directly to the person concerned! Apparently, after Mass one day I told the servers to go into the sacristy where I told them that Holy Mass was not the place to carry on extended conversations. I don't even remember much of the episode; it didn't register in my mind as even noteworthy. Then just last week I read the minutes from the January parish council meeting, which I was unable to attend, and discovered a report there that "complaints had been received that the servers were being harshly disciplined." The story is apparently going around that I said to the servers: "Get in the sacristy! What part of keeping your mouth shut don't you understand?" I am shocked. First of all, my instructing the servers to go into the sacristy is being used as supporting evidence that I was taking them off to the side to be mean to them. Wrong. I always tell all the servers to continue the recession into the sacristy. Why? Because in my mind the recession has not ended until we all return there, where I bow to the crucifix before going out to greet people. Secondly, I think I would remember having said what is being claimed. I don't. Thirdly, while I would not hesitate to tell servers that their job is to be attentive and at the ready, not carrying on as if we were on a bus ride, I am certain I did not say what is being reported in the way it is being reported. Finally, let's say I did do and say what is being reported. Is that really "harsh discipline"? I mean, when I hear that phrase, I think of cursing and physical beatings. Please.

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