Thursday, April 11, 2019

blue sky scapulars

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless

It's funny what you think Catholicism is growing up. When you are small, it's hard to distinguish between what is mandatory and what is optional. Everything is at once: attendance at Mass is inseparable from wearing your brown scapular under dress-up clothes.

Your mental landscaped is formed by twisted columns of liturgical sentences.

The other day, I was walking down West 49th, and my brain just spewed out the phrase:

Tomad y comed 
todos de él 
porque esto es mi cuerpo

a strange mental burp of language.

And it's funny.

When you burp long after a large meal, and get a taste of the food you had previously eaten (this is gross, yes), you tase what you have eaten, you taste a bit of what is composing who and what you are.

This is what I'm made of: I'm made of Eucharistic anaphoras in Spanish. This is the food my brain is eating, what's fueling the synapses.

The easiest way to take the temperature of your mental health (this is a home remedy, but actual medicine is important, too) is to take stock of what your brain is saying, the mental grooves your words are carving, between actual thoughts.

Are you thinking:
I am failing, I'm a failure, I'm behind?
f^%K, s%$*^, f^$#?
or are you thinking:
the treasury of compassion inexhaustible
the other prayer, that's not an epiclesis or anaphora is the closing prayer of the Divine Mercy chaplet. I have grown lukewarm in my devotion to the Divine Mercy. In my childhood, I was mightily devoted, but this is because the Hmong community at our parish was devoted, and they made a huge feast every Divine Mercy Sunday and I love home made egg rolls and spring rolls. The Polish mystic's image of Christ is forever wedded with the taste of crispy fried wonton dough.

Religion is this weaving together of memories: deities and eggrolls, childhood and pre-history. Beyond memory, before time, rolled up into the present. That's ritual.

look kindly upon us and increase your mercy in us, that, in difficult moments we might not despair, nor become despondent, but, with great confidence, submit ourselves to your holy will, which is love and mercy itself. Amen.

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