Friday, April 18, 2008

"If they would just as soon forget/ all disguise"

REM's new album Accelerate is a return, a journey backwards and forward. They went to Dublin last year, where they are and have been wildly popular for many years, in order to debut the songs for their new album live. They have an official website, remdublin 2.0. Check it out and please pray they come to SLC. If so, I am leading a pilgrimmage to the concert. Dear friends, Supernatural Superserious is our Friday traditio. You can also check out a great interview with the guys in Spin. I love the punk hook: "Nobody cares and no one remembers and nobody cares". Awareness is life.

While I am on my Friday kick, I read a very nice, short interview with Robert Downey, Jr. It is along the same lines as the one with Kim Deal, both of whom are in my age group:

"On Addiction
"Anyone who can't go five minutes without a cigarette, or can't stop drinking or is strung out on drugs, knows that after a while there develops an attachment to the ritual of using it that has little to do with your original motive. The original impetus was to feel its effect, and the effect seemed positive at the time."

"But if years down the road you are still saying, 'Baby, I do it because it makes me happy,' you don't really mean it."

"On What He Wants for His Son
"What I want for my son is for him to be honest and happy."

This teenagestation is where my oldest son is at. Along with Robert Downey, Jr., I want the same for my sons and my daughters. Knowing that you are loved, that you are cherished, that the lives of others, indeed, the world would be incomplete, poorer, without you is so very important to our flourishing. For those of us who did not get that message loud and clear, it causes life-long issues.

The ritual of use, indeed. Kim Deal of the Breeders and Pixies openly discusses her former ritual in her recent Spin interview: "When I was drinking, it was like, go to the bar for eight hours or get a 12-pack at the house. It was exactly the same every day - it was the most boring thing".

We need ritual, rituals are fundamental to being human. So many people tell me that what draws them to the Church is ritual. What is strange is that many feel like they need to apologize for being attracted by ritual, that somehow such an attraction is shallow, superficial, inauthentic. On the contrary, it is what resonates most deeply within in us. Religion gives us the rituals we need to be healthy and happy, forgiven and healed. Rituals are vital in our on-going discovery of who we are, which is beloved children of the God who is love and wants us to call him Abba, Father. As the Apostle writes:

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, 'Abba, Father!' The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us" (Rom. 8,14-18). Everybody comes not from somewhere, but from someone. All human beings share a common origin, which truly makes us sisters and brothers. So, on this Friday, don't forget from whom you came or to whom you are returning. Let Jesus Christ, present to us in the Eucharist, to quote Archbishop Niederauer, give "meaning and purpose and direction to everything else in our lives".

For takes and snippets on the Holy Father's Apostolic Journey, please see our parish blog, The People of St. Mary Magdalene.

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