Monday, February 18, 2013

...Into Dust Thou Shalt Return.

I saw this proudly illuminated sign on Truman Avenue reflecting the new status of the Catholic church at Windsor and Truman. A minor basilica is a big deal it seems in a faith that eschews the value of the temporal over the value of the spiritual.

It's funny how hard it is to throw over the allure of the physical in favor of self abnegation, even among the pros who are supposed to show us the way. And yet on Center Street there is a small church that lives in the shadow of the minor basilica on Truman and the massive white wedding cake that's St Paul's on Duval Street.

This church is usually open when I wander by on Center Street and I like to take a pause in the shadows, especially in the heat of summer when I'm not walking my soul-free hound downtown.

This is Lent, the time of self denial and purification in the Catholic and Anglican traditions. The Good Book says Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem to much acclaim and waving of palm fronds to sweep the path of the insurgent "king." Tradition requires the fronds be burned and used as ashes to mark the foreheads of the faithful on Ash Wednesday as a reminder that we are made of dust and into dust we shall return. Lent is a somber time, a remembrance of inevitable death.

Especially this year as tomorrow they are planting the former pastor of St Peter's. He was by all accounts a decent man who lived a full life before he came to Center Street. He was found dead at home which seems possibly as good a way as any to leave this Vale of Tears.

I doubt the Anglicans have all this fussing about minor and major basilicas and badges of rank favored by the religion I grew up in. Too bad really, I'd like to see this quiet decent little church made big. It seems everything has to be given a badge of rank to get attention in this world before we leave it, begging oddly enough for more time.

No comments: