Well, now it is almost a dozen hours later, so let’s see if I can write something with a less angry tint, cool? What? Do you want to hear me talk about organized religion on a Catholic holiday? Funny you should mention it, I was just thinking of that thing, you are so smart it makes me seem slower than molasses in January I swear.
This used to be my absolutely, with no doubt, unparalleled, favorite day of the year. Better than Christmas, Thanksgiving, all of them. I loved Easter and it wasn’t because I thought there was a gigantic, anthropomorphized rabbit pooping eggs in my lawn either.
I got to go to Mass. Even better, I got to help. Altar Boy Bear, reporting for duty Your Excellency. We went to mass at the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, it hadn’t been damaged by the earthquake in ’94 yet and was still in its absolute glory, so we got to listen to the Archbishop deliver the mass and I was selected to help him with it. basic altar boy shit, but when you want to be a priest with every fiber of your being, hanging around an archbishop on one of the holiest days in Christendom is a pretty substantial fucking deal I assure you. Yes, I had family connections that maybe pushed father to the front of the line than I should have been, but, I mean, I never asked, so it isn’t my fault right?
Before dawn, we all would trek our way down to Temple St. downtown and I would disappear for about the next ten hours or so. I looked the part, knew every hymn, every prayer, knew Catholic yoga better than most and, my Goddess, my smile, it was radiant. I cannot imagine a place in all of the world I would rather have been than listening to the services on Easter Sunday. The Lord Risen, the acceptance of the miracle of resurrection, every single fucking tidbit was like honeyed wine.
The irony that I loathed honeyed wine didn’t occur to me until years later.
Now, Easter is a Sunday. A day that ends the week perhaps begins the next. It is a memorable day, a smiling one for the most part. I can reflect on what I learned in Mass, be thankful the Archbishop was an honorable man who was never covered in the filth of the child abuse allegations that rocked, and still do rock, the Mother Church.
I remember going to Rocketdyne, where my grandfather retired from, and getting together with family, getting kites that I inevitably got tangled in a damn tree no matter hard I tried, eating so many of my Aunt Carol’s deviled eggs I thought I was going to explode and all of the simpler and delightful things that being a child brings.
I still have ham every Easter Sunday, but only because it is always on sale the weeks before. I watch Ben-Hur sometimes when I catch it on cable, but the rest, the rest is gone.
Gone is that absolute awe that came knowing that on this very day, centuries before anyone I ever heard of was a thought, a single man rose from the dead and met his God and Father.
As I fell blessedly into my Goddess’s arms in the last two decades, I can still appreciate the lessons of the day, but I can’t see the perfection in it, not after everything that has happened to me personally and the behaviors of Catholics as a whole.
So yeah, that was an awkward walk down memory lane.
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