Saturday, November 03, 2007

You know, I am reading things besides Llama, Llama red pajama... and here's a little update on some of what's been making its way through my brain this week:

Here's the Quote of the Week, Books -->

"It had been a terrible day - Mam hadn't gone to Mass, and it's impossible to convey how serious this is to someone unfamiliar with the Irish Catholic mammy. The ICM won't miss Sunday Mass even if she's got rabies and is foaming at the mouth - she'll simply bring a box of tissues and brazen it out. If her leg falls off, she'll hop. If her other leg falls off, she'll walk on her hands while still managing to wave graciously at neighbors passing by in cars." p 54 Marian Keyes - The Other Side of the Story

I hadn't read any of Marian Keyes before, and I thought this was a great book - funny and honest and smart. This quote alone would make the book a keeper, because it's so true. My Grandmother is an ICM - My uncle usually drives her to church, but if he's not available and even though she has to walk down (and then back up) a hill that is referred to as Dead Man's Curve (I'm not joking), she'll walk it. In the snow. At age 90, with macular degeneration so bad in one eye that she's partially blind. (Of course, she could just call and say she needs a ride, but does she? No. But that's another story.) She honestly believes that giving Youngest Sister the Mass schedules for every church within 10 miles of Harvard Square is going to be enough to make her go to Mass every Sunday. When YSister calls home, Grandmother asks her which priest she had for confession. It's pretty funny.

But she's also, in recent years, become a lot more lenient in regards to other people's faith. When she lost two sons and her husband of nearly 65 years within a 2 year period, I think it changed things for her somehow. Shook her in ways she'd never have expected. I know she believes, but I don't know exactly how she believes. I wish I could have her faith, just that ability to know inside herself, but I don't. So it's amazing and wonderful to me.

But, even though she called the Pastor at her church when she found out my sister was reading The DaVinci Code, she's not nearly as set in her ways as she could be.

She's an odd mix of the radical - in that many of her more liberal beliefs fall way outside the official Catholic canon - and the traditional. She's pro-Gay rights, but not Gay marriage. She's against divorce, yet told me that leaving my father (her son) was the best thing my mother could've done (for all of us involved), and sees my half sisters (technically not blood related) as just as much a part of her family as any of her other grandchildren. I had always assumed that it was at her urging that my 16-year-old parents had gotten married in the first place, when my mother turned up pregnant, but learned recently that she was initially against it - and that she had offered my mother a home with them should her family object. She's always been extraordinarily kind, but she's also got unexpected pockets of coldness and stubbornness. She remembers all the Holy Days of Obligation - If I see the parking lot for the church across the street start to fill up, I'll call her and ask her why... and she'll know.

No matter what, though, I know if it's 5:00 on a Saturday, or 9:00 on a Sunday, Grandmother is at church. Even if she has to walk on her hands.


JaniceNW said...

I thought confession had been deleted.............

Never That Easy said...

Janice - I guess we didn't get that message here? Although I haven't been in about 6 years or so, I still see people filing in for confession on Saturday afternoons. There used to be more chances for confession - every Saturday and Sunday - but I know that my Grandmother's church only has it twice a month... and that there's usually a line.

JaniceNW said...

The Catholic church by the middle school doesn't have any kneelers, let alone confessionals! You Easterners are so tradition-bound!