Lent (Day 31) — Jimmy Breslin, “The Church that Forgot Christ”

Finishing up chapter 3 — at the end of his reverie during his Sunday visit to Blessed Sacrament, he  recalls his Aunt Harriet, and figures that he would follow in her footsteps.  He noted that she seemed the most devout person he knew.  At the end of the chapter, he quotes Lucretius: “Religion has brought forth impiety and crimes,” and adds a statement from Aunt Harriet, “The church brings out impiety and crime.  The religion is mine, and I don’t commit crimes.”  

As I was reading this, I recall something a friend said to me that kept me Catholic, at least nominally affiliated with the Church, for some time.  He said that his time at Holy Cross with so many intelligent and perceptive Jesuits and lay teachers who clearly believed in the Church were his greatest proof that there was some value in all of this.  But I think there has to be more.  That feeling of connection, and their connection to the Church, does provide a pull, but we are not merely puppets, and so must make our own way.  Aunt Harriet was doing that by noting that the criminal activity of the church was none of her business.  Her religion was hers, and she didn’t commit crimes.  

Breslin also notes that he took some holy water and blessed himself leaving the church, as he had done every Sunday from childhood.  Is that just a habit?  Or is there something more there?  Does it provide a link with the good of the Church, and the good of religion?  Not sure I know.  

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