I‘m writing from detention, and am reminded why bad kids are so much fun. First of all, they’re nicer and kinder to each-other than “good” kids manage to be. A common bond of trouble is much stronger than the bond of the lack of trouble. Secondly, they’re funnier than kids who seem to think that humor is constant sarcasm. Now that I think of it, detention is a lot like the Church. A bunch of people who have screwed up, or are in the delightful process of screwing up, sharing in community in their common screwed-up-ness, with the goal of being saved from harsher, more just punishments for such afore-mentioned screwed up behavior, while having a good laugh along the way. Though I suppose most detentions are quiet – apparently I go to a very relaxed school. But then again, I am a member of a wonderfully relaxed religion, so it all works out.
|You’re probably wondering why there’s a
picture of Grace Kelly right here. I’m not.
But it’s this community that I love about our Church. If there’s one thing our secular society – our atheist friends and our apathetic friends-we-call-friends-because-we-should-love-everyone-but-really-just-piss-us-off-with-their-cowardly-relativism – if there’s one thing they’re all missing out on it’s community. You can see this in their frenzied, innate desire to form churches without calling them churches; there are support groups, forums, websites, conferences and summer camps in which to celebrate their common lack of anything to celebrate. The sad truth is that the attempt to bond over a great, universal Nothing usually ends in with nothing much to show, and thus quickly reverts to bonding over a common dislike for Christianity, which is much more sensible, but creates a culture of friendships built on sneered lips, a foundation even shakier than sand. Oh well. At the very least, I hope they drink a lot at their functions.
Like most things that can be said, they have been better said by Chesterton: “It has been often said, very truly, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary.”
As a reader wrote on my last post, suffering levels the playing field. I agree, but would add that the playing field is already level, the Church just seems to be the only one willing to realize that. The Church realizes that rich and poor, smart and stupid, all break the same. Want to experience true diversity? Go to confession. Want true community? Become Catholic.