Palm Sunday Rivulet of Consciousness

At mass   We gather in scattered groups; the place isn’t far from our small church. A nice blue sky. Children carry in their hands the traditional braids made of palm fronds. Every adult holds a bunch of olive branches. I notice -again- a stark contrast with my old parish in Northern Italy: here in the South it seems they love large quantities of stuff. Each of the most resourceful parishioners gathered enough branches to supply the whole congregation back in the North.   Odd: people here use to wish a happy Palm Sunday. Never heard of that. After mass we’ll exchange a olive branch with our friends and acquaintances: a nice, simple…

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What do you think about the Bible?

Scene: Jehova Witnesses trying to convert Muslims (!) I’ve been asked to give a quick answer to the puzzling question of the title, by a friend who happened to witness a bizarre exchange between J.Witnesses and Muslims. I needed to write this down to try and prove to myself that I can be concise…   Observation #1: Evangelize/proselytize. Jehova Witnesses represent a case study in naivete. You wonder how could they possibly convert people, since they are found in jokes alongside doorbells, and they rejoice for every piece of news reporting about plagues, deaths, natural disasters and wars, promising you that Armageddon is finally coming. Come to think of it, it’s a bit…

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On Prayers Of The Faithful And Distractions

Painting of the martyrdom of the 7 Maccabees

At Mass   Scene: today we went to Mass in a church that we know but isn’t our parish. All went well, no complaints (oh, how grumpy we pew-critters tend to be at times!): a good priest, a beautiful church full of art. Before the beginning of the service, while we are already seated, there comes a guy in charge of organizing stuff. The following exchange ensues: -Anyone wants to read the Readings? The Prayers Of The Faithful? Moment of indecision. I’m pondering the idea of blurting out the appropriate answer for an occasion like this, one I’ve prepared some time ago. -I may read a Reading, but… -Then it’s…

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Good Friday

at the airport

Always a perceivably special day. Maybe the key to my living it as something special is contrast, for the very reason that we are surrounded by people who ignore it: to them it’s just a day like another. God is dead, no Eucharist is celebrated today. The church remains empty, after the triumph of flowers and candles that surrounded the Most Blessed Sacrament since Thursday. The Via Crucis rite had an attendance of 7, including the priest’s striped cat who sneaked in. Come on, I’m not that old, when I was a child I remember my village as a place where the principal religious holidays were a big community event.…

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What really matters (Section: God)

Destination God

How did we develop our vision about life? “This is what really matters!” is a phrase I used often jokingly, for instance during the traditional Christmas Night Risiko (board game) with friends, when I and Mario (truly a character, but not the Nintendo one) let the dice decide who will have the privilege to use the red plastic army… then who cares about winning, the important thing is – i say to myself- being the Red! My “over thirty” generation has a natural sense of humor, a perception of the disjunction, breaking traditional schemes: so the player fakes a disproportionate interest in trivial things, precisely because he can taste the…

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