…to talk about the Mountain Goats. Once more I did my annual Mountain Goats Holy Week and once more it was awesome. Notes from this year: 1. Whoa, my sense of when these albums were made is totally off. Assumed Get Lonely and Heretic Pride were early because I don’t like them much but it turns out that’s not at all true! I still ease in with Get Lonely, but I’m now fond of that one song about the Tianchi monster, the one that’s kind of a knockoff “Bigfoot!” in subject matter and general atmosphere. And “Marduk T-Shirt Men’s Room Incident” is genuinely haunting.
2. Few things sound quite as much the way severe alcoholism feels as “The House That Dripped Blood.” I will never get over that intravenous harmonica.
3. The more I do this the more I love Life of the World to Come, too. This is the only way I’ll ever learn which Bible verses are which, basically. “In the burning fuselage/of my days/let my tongue be ever fresh with praise”; “and if my suffering should double, let me never love you less!”–same statement, totally different emotional and theological portraits….
4. Holy cow “Choked Out” is basically everything I love in the world. If the narrator were gay and forgiving somebody it would have literally all the things I care about. And followed by also-great “Heel Turn 2,” I think this was the moment I fell in love with that album.
5. In general I wish I’d learn that I am happier and more at peace when my life is mostly made up of prayer, work, and music. (Watching skating also works for “music,” I’ve found.) I super never learn this.
Anyway here are some links. Not Holy Week, but here’s a post on English songs for St Joseph. Even before His birth Jesus was causing scandal, forcing those who loved Him to be classed with (those who seem to be) sinners. And the steadfastness of Joseph in the first song is so lovely–Love believes all things, bears all things–and reminded me, at least, of unstintingly surrendered Jonathan.
Also oh snap!
Since God made reason, why may not reason of his works be beguiled?
Wherefore, Joseph, marvel not though Mary be with child.
My Patheos comrade with the weird lovely name Suspended in Her Jar offers “holy thursday and the carnivalesque”:
The events of Holy Thursday, from the initiation of the Eucharist, to the arrest of Jesus, we are accustomed to taking seriously. But to read the account in the Gospels is to enter into a strange world of reversals, riddles, and even a kind of clownishness. Imagine how confused the disciples must have been, when Jesus radically altered the Seder ritual. Why would he call the bread his body? Why would he call the wine his blood? Mixing flesh and blood was forbidden by Jewish law, and yet here is Jesus, claiming to do just this, profaning the holy Passover. The apostles do not object. They seem to be fascinated. What will Jesus do next? …
Depictions of the life of Jesus, in film, vacillate between the sentimental and the gory. But the events of Holy Thursday would probably best be depicted in a Coen Brothers film. Absurd expectations, cocksure males, ridiculous injuries, strange banter, overturned expectations.
more, I have not even quoted the best parts. And whoa, her Resurrection narratives post, “when god walks among us and women need not be afraid,” is also excellent.
And here is Scott Cairns, with a poem exploring the third crucifixion.
And let’s end with Fr James Martin, SJ, on “The Challenge of Easter“:
…If you don’t believe in the Resurrection, you can go on living your life while perhaps admiring Jesus the man, appreciating his example and even putting into practice some of his teachings. At the same time, you can set aside those teachings that you disagree with or that make you uncomfortable—say, forgiving your enemies, praying for your persecutors, living simply or helping the poor. You can set them aside because he’s just another teacher. A great one, to be sure, but just one of many.
If you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, however, everything changes. In that case, you cannot set aside any of his teachings. Because a person who rises from the grave, who demonstrates his power over death and who has definitively proven his divine authority needs to be listened to. What that person says demands a response.
In short, the Resurrection makes a claim on you.