Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Love Cranky Old Priests!

Our pastor is away at school for a month, and often when he leaves, the former, now retired pastor of our parish will fill in for him. He is actually one of the reasons why my husband and I first came to the parish.

There is an epidemic amongst our parishes. It's called "niceness". I am not talking about Christian charity, because true Christian charity, sometimes requires speaking the truth. I'm talking about the attitude that if I speak the truth, people might get their feelings hurt or get offended, and they might leave. So everything I am going to talk about is going to be nice. Nice and sweet. Well, this retired priest, does NOT feel that way.

He is very thin and sort of small in appearance, old (or older), a little cranky, and he doesn't put up with anything. When he was pastor, and people's cell phones went off during mass and they let them keep ringing, he would turn bright red and tell them he was waiting. (I loved him for this.) When he gets up to preach he often rambles on through the readings and sometimes is hard to hear, but when he feels passionate about something, all of the sudden he turns bright red (notice a pattern?) and speaks with forceful clarity as he shifts from one foot to the other.

Today he was talking about John the Baptist as it was his feast day and the scripture readings were focused on him. I couldn't hear him very well or understand him, until...."John the Baptist was a martyr because he stood up for what is right. He spoke out against Herod because what he was doing was wrong. We may be put in a position where we have to do the same thing. There are some people in our government who want to say when life begins. Life begins at conception. Only GOD can give life and only GOD can take it away. There are some people who claim to be Catholics who are saying this. THEY ARE NOT CATHOLIC. I hope that when the time comes for us to stand up for what is right and possibly against our government THAT WE WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO SO!" At this point he slammed the lectionary closed and left the ambo. My husband and I exchanged a smile, sometimes frankness can be soooo refreshing.

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