Path To Salvation

Sacred Heart painting on wooden door by Paul Dodd 1979. From the estate of John Boreck
Sacred Heart painting on wooden door by Paul Dodd 1979. From the estate of John Borek and Jackie Levine

Kathy used to go to a lot of estate sales. She has one of everything now so she only looks at the sales online. She spotted one of my old paintings in the upcoming John Borek and Jackie Levine estate sale. I think he bought it at a Pyramid Art Gallery show and it must have been sometime around 1980 because it looks a lot like the Sparky paintings. I’m guessing the bottom half reads “ . . Shall Be Saved.”

An option piece in the NYT this morning said “the most consistent threat to our democracy has always been the drive of some leaders to restrict its blessings to a select few.” That’s why this voter suppression thing pisses me off so much. They are playing with fire and the house is dry kindling. The US bishops are doing the same thing. Drafting rules that would restrict Biden, a devout Catholic, from receiving communion because of his defense of a woman’s right to chose. Pope Francis chided them by reminding them that “Communion is not a reward for saints. It is bread for sinners” but they insist on burning the house down.

Other than taking his vow of poverty seriously, all Father Jim Callan had to do to get excommunicated was let women say mass, bless same sex marriages and welcome anyone to break bread (receive communion) in church. That’s like crossing the street.

I escaped Catholicism but have a romantic soft spot for the customs, most of all the iconography. In addition to serving mass as an altar boy we played mass at home. We wore sheets as vestments and made our own hosts by rolling out slices of white bread with the side of a big glass and then cutting out hosts with the rim of a small glass.

As an altar boy I ate the Holy Eucharist by the handful, right from the clear plastic bag they came in. We were told the nuns in the convent next door made them. Hard core Catholics believe the hosts, once consecrated, were transformed into the literal body of Christ. They are big on miracles. The wonders of life are not enough. They, like every other religion, are always concocting lines in the sand, holding out paths to eternal salvation.

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One Reply to “Path To Salvation”

  1. ” God gave us free choice,” beamed the beatific woman working reception at the pool/school up here. “Most of the kids here who just graduated aren’t vaccinated. You can’t blame them or their parents. The vaccine doesn’t even stop the disease just lessens the symptoms. And it does nothing for the new variant. ” See me wind up and waste my energy: “You know, I really try to keep an open mind. I really do. But if I had rejected medicine I would be dead so many times I am just hanging in there. I would have been dead at age three with third degree burns and dead at seven when some new drug saved my life. Let alone antibiotics. …. This is the most insular and extreme (and a few other choice words) place I have ever lived in. No one even leaves ( except for the military). No one even seems to care about the rest of the world. Not until their own neighbors are dying will they care.” Bring it on if that’s what it takes to burst the bubble of privilege.

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