Okay, it’s true. My mind makes odd connections

I passed on an oral tradition to my kids today.

Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts,

Mangled up in monkey meat,

Little piggies dirty feet!

French-fried eyeballs rollin’ in a bowl of soup!

And me without a spoon!

(I’ve got a strawwwwwww!)

One of the things that made me a Catholic was the realization that a huge amount of life is not received in written form. Incautious Catholics often speak of “oral tradition” as one of the ways that the Faith is handed down and they are right as far as it goes. But I think the phrase far too restrictive. I much prefer the term “unwritten tradition” because so much of life is not passed to us in words at all. One priest has pointed out that if Peter were to walk into a modern Church, he would not know the language (except perhaps the Kyrie eleison) and the architecture would be completely unknown to him. But he would recognize one thing: the *gesture* of taking bread, breaking it, and offering it. That’s incredibly close to the heart of our Faith and it is a thing passed on as a physical act, not a preachment.


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