Well, aren’t we all going to rest easier about all those little babies, stretching back to the dawn of humankind, which died before benefit of sprinkled baptism? Rome has decided that they all aren’t gurgling in Limbo cribs, eyes attempting to focus on the restrained delights of a distant heaven dangling from a mobile just beyond reach.
When I was eight years of age I asked my CCD nun, what about my sibling twins, who had died soon after birth? I knew she’d say, “Limbo!” I told myself, “What’s the use in asking when you know what she’s going to say?” But I had to ask anyway. Some times you just have to hear the cruel rejoinder rather than assuming it.
“Limbo,” she sternly replied.
Which wasn’t cruel to me personally as I wasn’t a believer in the benefits of baptism. I’d been baptized, by then, at least twice. My first baptism had been at about four or five years of age into some Protestant church. At the age of eight, the Catholic church saying the Protestant first baptism didn’t take, I was sprinkled into the Catholic Church, and though I was only eight I sniffed politics and used to joke about how Really Clean and Heaven Ready I was.
The reason I asked the nun my question is because I wanted to hear straight from her mouth her cruelty. It didn’t hurt me, but I wanted to hear it straight from her mouth, how she would respond to an eight-year-old who had lost siblings, wanted to hear from her mouth how her vision of her church would respond. I suspected how she would respond, but I wanted to give her an opportunity to pause, to say she wasn’t sure, to incline to comfort rather than condemnation. As I anticipated, she didn’t pause, she didn’t hesitate.
“Limbo,” she said.
When my mother picked me up, I told her what the nun had said.
My mother cried. “Why are you hurting me like this?” she asked.
I hadn’t intended to hurt her. I had just wanted her to know the kind of people I was hanging around at CCD.
She later wised up.
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Credit: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano (VATICAN)
Not to bash anyone having a good time on their birthday, but we see above Pope Benedict XVI with his birthday cake this past week, and I think to myself, y’know, that seems an awful waste of money for a purportedly charitable organization. You and I both know that’s one damn expensive cake. And it’s very easy to get around that kind of ostentatious display by announcing beforehand, “No gifts for me, please! Instead give to the charity of your choice.”
Though insanely expensive, everyone in the above pic can rest easy that it doesn’t come close to being one of the most expensive cakes of all time…like the 1.65 million dollar diamond fruit cake of 2005, or the 2.16 million dollar cake of 2006 celebrating Mozart’s birthday, or the 20 million dollar diamond wedding cake of October 2006 at the Luxury Brands Bridal Show on Rodeo Drive.
While we’re at it, click here to give a cup of rice to some hungry people.
(Yes, in other words, those cakes are lots and lots of cups of rice.)
OK. Enough of that.
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What else was I going to write about? I was going to write about something and it wasn’t going to be a boring rant about this HELL of a cold (well, not hell) that just won’t stop. I keep thinking it’s “finally clearing out” but today I’m taking some OTC cold medicine to help with the congestion and cough (no, not a chest cough) and general unpleasantness. I hate cold medicine because it makes me feel so weird. Even weirder that Benadryl.
One of those colds that compels you to not do anything that you don’t absolutely have to do.
I’m looking right now at a picture of a very dead, upside down swordfish trapped in a tuna net, on the cover of this month’s National Geographic. The title is “Saving the Sea’s Bounty”. It’s not making me feel any better. It’s not supposed to make me feel better, I know…but today of all days I don’t need a dead swordfish poking around my brain.
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The cold medicine has completely stopped the cough and blowing of nose, it seems, but I now have a searing headache (that dead swordfish, I told you I didn’t need it) and have to keep picking my head up off my right shoulder to which it keeps gravitating.
H.o.p. is calling me to watch “Redwall” with him. I have no use for that cartoon. He loves it. The sacrifices we make. I will now go in and watch “Redwall”…sideways…my head sitting on my right shoulder like it is.