While repentance is a constant theme of the Christian life, the Catholic Church gives the faithful two extended seasons of the liturgical year for the specific purpose of examining our lives and changing our ways. Lent may be better-known, but Advent is also a time for sacrifice and humility.
A letter to the editor in another diocesan newspaper caught my attention last week. It was on a topic I muse about nearly every weekend at Mass: people in the pews. More specifically, people sitting at the ends of the pews.
Sometimes we’re a mystery to ourselves, or, perhaps more accurately, sometimes we don’t realize how much paranoia we carry within ourselves. A lot of things tend to ruin our day.
“What is that sound?” I asked, even as I realized that it was the buzz of books and knickknacks, plates and bowls, tables and, well, everything, rattling as the earth shifted.
My wife thinks it’s supposed to look like a ship. I suspect the church is meant to look like a clam. It has a half moon clam shape and a tilted ceiling that opens up like a clam. We’re visiting a sick friend who lives near the New England coast and clams are one of the local trademarks, like Steelers gear in Pittsburgh. I hope I’m wrong, but you never know with church architects.