March 9, 2013

Smoke rings

I am not Catholic.

I am somewhat fascinated by Catholicism.  I think what appeals to me most is the legality and pageantry. 

I tend to be a black and white kind of girl, so the traditional list of things you are forgiven for versus the few that get you on the fast-track to hell make sense to my need for strict order and discipline.

I also like the traditions and the ceremonies. Sure, sure, they seem antiquated and ridiculous on the surface, but I appreciate time-honored practices.  Having lived in Europe for a few years, I think that Americans have a disposable attitude about too many things.  Change isn't always good.  There is comfort to be found in doing (some) things the way they have always been done.

I got a bit teary-eyed watching the pope get in a helicopter and fly away from the Vatican.  I have no political or religiously political opinion on his decision to retire.  I cannot possibly comprehend the emotional attachment that Catholics have with their pope.  I am excited to await the puff of white smoke announcing the selection of the new pope.  I don't care one whit who it is - though I think it would be a riot (and nothing short of a living miracle) if Cardinal Timothy Dolan were to be selected.

I once visited the Sistine Chapel, and am curious as to the set-up for the conclave.  When I visited, it was, as most landmark churches in Europe are, empty of seats - so that the people can mill around, looking up, of course.  We didn't get to linger long as Bang, who was 2-year's old at the time, discovered there was an echo, and decided to "whoo" loudly to hear it.  Stern looks from security with gestures toward the signs demanding silence in the chapel encouraged us to make our way to the door.  I like the thought of that beautiful room filled with voices, and, perhaps, laughter, as the leaders of the Catholic church choose their new father.

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