Ah, the dreaded "routine" visit to the dentist. Rozann Carter finally made hers last week, and the dentist's x-ray discoveries taught her a little bit about the process of dealing with the effects of sugar sin.
“Do you have a mint problem?”
A mint problem?
What the heck is a mint problem?
Do I take 3-8 peppermints every time I leave a restaurant?
Is that a problem?
“Do you floss regularly?”
With regularity? Yes. Every month, on the month.
Oh, you meant frequently? (Silly adverbs.)
No, I don’t floss frequently. What gave that away? The fact that my gums are bleeding because I flossed 20 minutes before I came in to your office?
“Let’s take a look at these x-rays.”
Uh oh. Here we go.
The smell of blue rubber gloves, the feel of the mini grim-reaper sickle against enamel, the sound of the whirring, splashing lipo-esque suction that disposes of extra saliva while your mouth is stretched open just awkwardly enough to garble every answer to the 27 life questions posed by the friendly neighborhood hygienist. Good to see you again, fake-plants-and-murals-on-the-ceiling dentist office. It has been too long...
Father Steve Grunow shares his homily for All Souls Day, a day in which we pray for the dead. These prayers serve a mighty purpose, for they are our pipeline to those purgatory, and part of their journey to heaven. This isn't a "here" vs. "there" relationship, but one that draws us all into the divine life of Jesus Christ.
The feast of All Souls, or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, is the day on which Masses offered are intended for the benefit of the dead.
This particular practice seems to have originated with the monasteries associated with the Cluniac reform, and quickly gained momentum in terms of popular piety.
The theological reasoning that undergirds the practice of offering Masses for the dead is inextricably linked to the Church’s understanding of Purgatory, but perhaps more importantly, to the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints insists that the dead remain in a relationship with the living, and both can intercede for one another. This prayerful rapport is to the benefit of both.
The Communion of Saints also means that the Church is simultaneously a reality of earth and of heaven and the two co-inhere with each other in tangible ways...
Literature has the power to change one's perspective in a very real way. Jack Thornton reflects on "The Divine Comedy" and how a full reading of Dante's masterpiece sheds light on the path to salvation.
I graduated from college almost exactly one year ago. Over the last year many people I’ve run into have expressed an appropriate amount of interest in my college experience with questions like, “what was your major?” and “how will that help you get a job?” and “did you write a thesis?”
When questions about my thesis arise the conversations usually go something like this.
Them: “Did you write a thesis?”
Me: “Yes I did. I wrote about the influence of Dante on T.S. Eliot’s poetry.”
Them: “Oh Dante! Right, right. He wrote the “The Inferno,” yes?”
Yes! He did write “The Inferno” and I’m always happy when people can identify his work. Many high school students read “The Inferno” as part of their curriculum and that’s great.
But sometimes I wish they would add “The Purgatorio” and “The Paradiso” to that curriculum. I wish that people would identify Dante not only as the author of “The Inferno,” but as the author of “The Divine Comedy...”
Today, Ellyn von Huben comments on a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the "trend toward increasing humor in funeral customs." Read what she has to say about it here.
It’s Not Actually My Party - But You Can Cry if You Want To
They could remember me well: the child who licked a hot frying pan, the sister who returned from a youthful night on the town and collapsed atop her sister’s occupied bed, the mother who forced her family into matching orange shirts plus khaki shorts, the mother of the tofu cookies and agonizing Proust Questionnaire cards at holiday dinner. So many quirky stories… just don’t expect to hear them at my funeral...