Christmas Catholics

Christmas Catholics

I don’t have much to say today; but here are some lovely thoughts from Karen Edmisten:

. . . Now that I’m in the fold of the Catholic Church—no longer a stranger and sojourner but a citizen among the saints and not-so-saintly—I give tearful thanks for the gift of my faith, and I pray that at least one of those Christmas Christians will be touched by God this year, touched so deeply that he or she will be moved to venture back to Mass again in January. Maybe once more in the spring. Maybe on a weekly basis by June. Into the confessional by next September? Then, finally, back into full communion with our one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

Which one will it be? Is it that sweet woman behind me, the one with whom I’ll exchange a sign of peace? The bored teenager sitting in front of us? Will it be the man who scowls as we slide into the pew, forcing him to move down and relinquish his spot on the aisle?

Since I don’t know which one it will be, I pray that I will not be a stumbling block to whomever it is. I pray that I will not be the reason he goes home griping about churchy hypocrites who say they’re Christians but don’t act like it.

I pray that someone, somewhere, this Christmas season, will be touched by the Christ Child.

And I pray that I will not get in his way.

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  • I have been interested in this trilogy as an entry point to appreciating Waugh (which I have been sadly unable to do, though to be fair I have only read Helena).

    Also, your point about a class is very well taken. I was reflecting on that just today when listening to the most recent two chapters of The Turn of the Screw from CraftLit. Without Heather’s commentary leading into each podcast I’d be missing about 2/3 of the significance of the book. Certainly I wouldn’t be enjoying it nearly as much.

  • Well, as I’ve said before, the only Waugh that has really moved me so far has been Brideshead Revisited. But that was only after a couple of readings. The first time I definitely didn’t get it.

    I liked parts of Helena. There were some scenes that really grabbed me. But on the whole the book was a bit of a disappointment.

    I’m still digesting Sword of Honor. The jury’s still out. I think I might come to like it at some point. I might even give Helena another go at some point. In the end Waugh may just not be my cup of tea. Not everyone likes every author, after all.

    But I do wonder if I were reading them with someone else if I might get more the first time through.

    The podcast idea seems interesting. Right now, not something I could do. I’m better able to read than listen. I can read and watch Bella as she rolls around on the floor. But listening for me requires my hands to be busy with something. I used to listen to books while driving. Then while sewing. Maybe I’ll get back to sewing. But even then I think I might need to have half an attention for Bella which means listening would still be out.

    Well she won’t be a baby forever. One of these days I’ll be able to dive into some of those podcasts you’re always talking about.

    Meanwhile, you’ve got me addicted to Josephine Tey. I’m reading Miss Pym Disposes. And Odd Thomas sounds very interesting too. Think I’ll hunt that up…

  • Somehow Josephine Tey never gets outdated for me. I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying her also.

    On Odd Thomas, just watch out for the first book when he goes into the man’s trailer and sees what he is keeping in boxes (in the fridge maybe?). I skipped several paragraphs at that spot. Otherwise, it wasn’t too graphically gruesome. And the other two didn’t bother me that way at all.

  • I rather like Walker Percy. At least The Second Coming and Love in the Ruins. But then I read him first for a class in Southern Literature. Like I said, it’s much easier to get into something strange when you’ve got context and people to help you see it from other perspectives. Could be part of why I like Flannery O’Connor too. Not sure I’d have been able to read her outside of a class. Might also be the Southern thing, though. The teacher I had was an expert on Southern Lit. and loved it intensely. A good teacher communicates her love of her subject. It’s just infectious.

  • Agreed about Brideshead Revisited. My husband bought me some other works by Waugh and they reminded me too much of Walker Percy who I have never been able to develop an appreciation for. I think I’m too much of a puritan.

    I really like Joan Didion’s work. We read “Play It as it Lays” and the protagonist exeriences post abortion syndrome. Or did- it may have been censored by this time.