Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Popes and other irrelevant stuff

Here's one of the biggest reason I hate the Internet. So, we've got a new Pope (and I mean "we" though I have very little use for Popes--since he's the only Pope we've got) and already the Internet is dragging up stuff about him when he was a mere bishop during the Argentinian dictatorship and people are wondering on line whether the Francis he means is 'of Assisi' or 'Francis Xavier' who was the founder of the Jesuit order. Give me a break, he's Francis, let it go at that.

I walked into our TV room just as a photo of Francis I was shown and Bern said, "look, my uncle Frankie just got elected Pope!"

It was absolutely true, the new Pope looks just like Frank Pisano--except Frank is 90 and Francis is 'only' 76. Which brings up what I don't get--if the Roman Catholic church wants to be relevant why do people between 70 and 80 elect a guy who's 76? I mean, really, 76 is the best they can do? He could have been on Medicare for 13 years! He's 11 years past retirement age. But then the average age of the Cardinals is probably not much younger than that.

And why do Cardinals live so long? I have a theory about skinny, unmarried women living to a great age, but Cardinals? What's up with that?

Also (the other irrelevant stuff of the title) I drove by St. Bridget's RC church today and noticed a new sign. It said: "The Journey is the Reward".

I've come, in the last few years, to not be the fan of "journey" theology that I was for most of my life. I've come to see theology, not a a journey 'to somewhere' but as being 'present to where you are'. Maybe it is just that I'm slowing down and a 'journey' is not as attractive to me as it once was. Maybe, as Jung thought, your bliss and passion change as you enter a new era of living. So, 'abiding' with God is much more a part of what I would suggest and lean into that 'journeying toward God'--the metaphor that sustained me for decades.

All that having been said, I really liked that sign in front of St. Bridget's. Many folks think the 'destination' is the reward, 'arriving', 'getting there'. If you're going to be into 'journey metaphor', I think the most accurate and life-giving way of seeing it is that the journey IS the REWARD. "Getting there" isn't 'half the fun', it is 'all the fun'. If the 'destination' is the point then all the movement is just prelude. If, in fact, the journey is the reward, the point, the meaning, then that is very compatible to my assumption that just 'being present' to the moment is the reward, the point, the meaning.

It's a nice melding of metaphors for the meaning of life: being aware of the the journey is much the same as being present to the moment. The pay-off isn't 'out there somewhere', it is right here and now. In this moment and the next and the one after that, on and on.

Ram Das said, "Be here now".

Yeal, I'd buy into that....

Something to ponder besides the new Pope....

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.