I attended a funeral. Very Catholic. Lots of talk of God and resurrection. I have a bit of a problem with that last one. The mechanics of it, I mean. It seems very mysterious, not to say, miraculous. Guess that’s the point.
But what if I had an eye in the middle of my forehead while alive? Would my newly minted, resurrected self still have that eye? I would hope not because Earth people have been mean to me, but I’m waiting for a guarantee.
And if I were to make it through to the other side with a forehead eye, don’t try to tell me that Heaven people wouldn’t nudge one another every time I came into view and mutter, “Hey, here comes Cyclops. Guess we have to be extra nice now.”
The other thing about eternal life that bothers me is the “eternal” part. You thought Thanksgiving with the in-laws was an eternity? Eternal is a very long time. Beyond very long.
If there are lollipops and unicorns at every turn, that must mean there is no place for Wall Street types who steal from the rich and the poor and the in-between and give to themselves.
I’m guessing Wall Street types are frowned upon “up there” on the far side of the “pearly gates.” There is always room for one more, they say, even if their contrition arrives at the very last second, but cutting it that close seems awfully risky. Even riskier than junk bonds.
Back to the funeral. There were more hymns than I remember there being as a kid. I was an altar boy, by the way, so I came upon my skepticism the hard way. The best hymn at this particular funeral, without question, was Ave Maria. This can’t possibly be surprising because J.S. Bach wrote the music and the words are Latin.
Throwback and Cyclops that I am, I remember a time when the entire mass was Latin. That time could be referred to as the good old days. Why? Because Latin is sexy and mysterious (that word again).
English is the language I use when I tell the cat to “stop clawing the couch” or the McDonald’s drive-thru guy that “I’d like a Big Mac with medium fries.”
I don’t think God should be ad-dressed in English.
Michael Gillgannon is the former news editor of The Western Producer and managing editor of Western People. Contact: email@example.com