Begging Indulgence

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peasant wedding

Time for something a little more soothing for our laboring Catholic hearts. One of the families at Church married off their daughter in the month of August. As the first of two parties rolled on, and the stately (very talented Mariachi musicians) left the hall, I would that they had stayed longer, because by their presence they betokened a strong, Catholic, nationalist, family-centered ethnic tradition.  Mexican brethren have such a truly admirable patrimony, I can’t help but hope that their share in the Reign of Immaculata will be tremendous.

But also the Mariachis were my only hope of escape from witnessing the wretched, and revolutionary dancing, if one could call it that. Yes, even now in advanced middle age, I can recall my decades-younger self undertaking those immodest and meaningless paroxysms of bodily motion of the anti-cultural music of the day. But dance should be the expression of the mind of a people, and especially exuberant at a wedding. The Greeks still have tradition in dance. Parts for the men, and parts for women. Of course to those spry enough who are able to show off greater skill, they can do so at the center. Ah, the tightly strung, slightly mysterious plucking of the mandolin as dozens form a great circle, join elbows and as a group rotate first one way, and then the other! The ear can almost hear through history the celebrating, yet proud souls of the Byzantines fearlessly repelling Saracen hordes for so many centuries.

Having run for cover from the riot of immodesty, and yet also having had the privilege to run and fetch some ice water for the bride, so gracious to sit at my table for a quick hello, and then back to her guests, I had the further pleasure of a quick word with Father W. Now Father is a connoisseur of Traditional vestments, and we now have a complete set of our own at the parish, which we discussed. And then (who knows how we get started on these topics) we got to the state of …things. Finally, the point arose that of all those matters for which future Catholics will be blameless to grade us with Fs, the one thing they might give us credit for is hanging on to the Faith when the lights went out and we started taking a beating. That future Catholics might look to us and see a generation that could have given up, could have quit using both hands to shelter a smoldering wick of a visible Church and just started swinging vengeful haymakers at everyone. That we stuck it out and believed unto our final perseverance, when Bishops and priests, well… you know that part.

So imagine, then, a century or two from now, a Church who leads the world to higher heights than Christendom of St. Louis of Toulouse. Builders, scholars and leaders set forth to provide for their future generations, while holy men and women reach to unimaginable summits of mystical union in their cloisters and hermitages. Now conceive, if you will, a priest at prayer, his sermon, or a layman’s a word of veneration; a grandfather even, the son of our sons, to remember those who believed but did not see. Who believed more in what they could not envisage, than the moral horror of what they were forced to watch. Who believed more in a a universe ruled by God, even while  enslaved in a world ruled by criminals, and a visible Church run by psychopaths.  Who heard the word of the one solitary Bishop alive, St. John the Evangelist, and understood that the Gospels were written for the purpose that we might believe that the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us. Who knew with dead certainty that fleeting life on this earth is nothing except that it affords us the chance to live the belief that Truth is everything. This glorious, and guaranteed future is what we’re fighting for. It is a privilege solely ours.

Now, with decades disappearing in the rear view mirror, permit me to include the soothing tones of some Irish lasses, a sort of polyphonic pop, but a decent sort at that. And some rather sweet keening.  And perhaps in my lifetime I’ll get the chance for some traditional Hibernian wedding song and dance.

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