Friday, March 16, 2018

"So please, please, please ... Let me get what I want"

Our Friday traditio for this Fourth Friday of Lent is a beautiful cover of The Smith's song "Please, Please, Please (Let Me Get What I Want)" by Suzi & Alex. I have to say, I cannot love their version of the song enough. "Please, Please, Please..." is one of a number of Smith's songs I have loved for decades.

The Agony in the Garden by Filippo Lauri

Life is strange in that I am most dissatisfied when I don't get what I want and when I do. I can either remain frustrated and resign myself to settling for less, thinking- "I guess this is as good as it gets" - or see my perennial dissatisfaction as pointing me to something more, to what will satisfy me. Sometimes I am able to do the latter but I spend a lot of time grinding away at the former.

When listened to from a Christian perspective it can be understood as a song of bedrock honesty. Too often, in my view, we are very pseudo-pious - I won't sully the word "pious," which is a good and important word but one that runs the risk of suffering the same fate as the word "righteous," which people now substitute for the word "self-righteous" - and so easily write, say, and pretend to pray the words Jesus prayed to the Father in the Garden: "not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).

If we're honest, much of the time our use of these words either comes close to or actually constitutes blasphemy. What we usually "say" in our thoughts, words, and by our actions, if not in our prayers, is: "So for once in my life let me get what I want."

I am not chiding anyone. I am as guilty as the next person. It's a difficult thing, which is why we should use these words of Jesus much more sparingly. I am going to let this realization guide me through the rest of Lent and the Triduum.


  1. I recently moved to the Salt Lake City area from a small town in Michigan. Before moving here I imagined the only people I would come in contact with would be Mormon. First of all, I have nothing against any religion. In fact, I consider myself to be tolerant, open-minded and good hearted. These qualities and and my faith in God helped me to get past all of my preconceived notions of the Mormon Church and it's followers. Soon after moving here, I was very pleasantly surprised to find such an amazing community of hard working, good-natured and God fearing individuals. One where I feel free to practice my religion. After going to mass at a few local churches in the area we found St Olaf's and have been going ever since. As for Lent I decided to try and stop having any preconceived notions about anyone , anything or any place. So please, please, please... let me get what I want.

  2. Certainly that is something worth desiring. It's one of the two great commandments, is not? Loving your neighbor. Just as we don't like being subjected to prejudice, we should not act prejudicially towards others, which is basically the Golden Rule. I sincerely hope Lent helps you in that regard. It is certainly something worth praying and fasting about. Serving others (alms-giving) strikes me as practical application.



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