Sunday, September 25, 2016


One time in the seminary,
we had this guy, Bishop
Euphorious or something,
traveling in from Washington
D.C. and for some and
whatever reason, taking
a stop at our simple
seminary  -  kind of to see
what the regionals were up
to or whatever. It was a
Saturday thru Tuesday
visit. A big deal. I guess
it meant a lot for the
brothers and priests,
because it certainly didn't
mean much to us. I mean,
just the name  -  some of
these guys were almost
female in the way they
went about their taking
of names. What 'guy' is going
to call himself 'Euphorious'
to allude to piety? Just every 
so often, as in this case, you'd
get the inkling of what the
person's inclination in taking
that name sort of meant : in
this case, the happy-talk
factor of 'Salvation'. The
euphoria of being saved.
There wasn't any much
other way to tell. This fellow
came with a driver, in some
fancy black car, and wherever
he went he had all the
trimmings. You know how
it is that people, 'the 'right'
people, always end up
making righteous fool fun
out of the supposed stupidities
of others  -  like the Ku Klux
Klan (which most people, I
found, bragging on about their
own righteousness, always
manage to mis-label as the
'Klu Klux Klan'. I figure, if
you're going to ridicule 
something at least get the
name right), or the Elks,
with their 'Grand Exalted 
Ruler' stuff and Wizard hats 
and all that  -  well I'm
telling you, take a look
someday at some of the
crackpot regalia of these
Catholic Royalty people, 
mitres and crowns and
sashes and beads and all,
and you tell me what the 
difference is. This one came
with all the pieties and altar
sweet-talk homilies and such.
At least, because of him, the
food got a tad better  -  we all
had to eat in a more formal
'bunch' that Sunday meal, a
he attended up at the head 
table, next to Father Edward,
who was our fearless leader, 
so to speak. Intense, wired
guy, red hair, tight, pink facial
features, all pinched and 
arranged, and constantly  -  
even here as he ate, as usual
at the high-master table, five
or so steps above us, 
watching down  -  he smoked.
Endless, endless cigarettes.
It looked as if his very red
face was always about to
explode in a riot of red 
blood, like from one too
many, finally, cigarettes  - 
any one of them now could 
be the one that would
overload and blow his head
to lethal smithereens all over
the walls, and our food, and 
now this Bishop Euphonious 
guy too. (I know that wasn't 
his name, but I always like 
to play with names and 
words. Here the emphasis 
shifts to the 'phony' in
EuPHONYus. Even if 
he did have euphoria. 
Those cats at the head 
table were all doomed 
if Father Edwards blew.
At these dining confabs, no
matter the food or the dessert
or whatever, they were always
reading aloud the damned
'Lives Of the Saints'  -  just
like it sounded, some crazy
Catholic compendium since
the beginning of Catholic time,
(funny how all these religions,
Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu,
Zoroaster, and the rest, all have
their own starting dates for the
beginning of time and all creation.
How weird is that they can't even
get themselves lined up at the
starting gate correctly so as to
at least have a fair and equal
footing to their stupid race). 
The Lives Of the Saints is 
one weird book, let me tell 
you, and I could never believe 
these people fell for this stuff.
Here it was, I'm supposed to be
eating, and this crap never failed
making me spit up my food in
incredulous gag-shock at that
I was hearing. This stuff puts
today's instant saints, like Padre
and Mother Theresa  to shame
-  sanctification once used
to take about two centuries.
Miracles had to be found and
attested and vouched for (?),
and all the proper hearings
and papers arranged. Now, 
some media-star crud like
'Padre Pio' and even Mother
Theresa, in two weeks there
are people telling how she
touched their broken arm and
it was healed, or how she 
smiled at them and they no
longer needed braces and 
all. Yeah, I mean teeth.
Two months later, they're
freaking saints, and on the
cover of Time or Newsweek 
like that's supposed to be a
big deal. Should be Mad
Magazine instead. These
ancient saint guys, they were
ridiculous. St. Alphonso the 
Left Handed, say, who  -  at 
the Battle of Irigimonte to 
retake the Holy Land, 
prayed to Jesus Lord for
12 days straight, sitting on
a horse illuminated by the
light of God and who, at
the end of that time, was
able to walk the battlefield
whereupon all the sundered
and broken bodies of 274
Christians were put back 
together, limbs re-attached,
horses too, and they all came
back to life and accompanied
St. Alphonso back from the
Holy Land, singing God's 
praises the entire journey,
which only took them 6 days!
Well, we weren't suppose to
applaud, just instead keep
quiet and keep eating and 
think long and hard about 
our personal faith and the
praise and goodness of God.
This went on, every day. Not
one saint, but like a whole
book of 365 of these crazy
things. Make the lame blind,
and make the blind lame, 
I always said. That would
be a miracle. These instances
of sainthood would always be
praising the stupidest stuff;
and the female saints were the
worst. In bed for five years,
bleeding through her pores,
seeing angels on the wall,
growing a crown of thorns
and then dying peacefully
muttering the Virgin's name.
And then, of course, they 
had to find or concoct three
miracles, like the tree that
bloomed in Winter when 
they threw a bucket of her
blood onto the bark of the
tree. Really, folks, really.
For this you put your money
in the collection tray.
The blood-root tree.
The seminary was good for
stuff like this. Real hokum.
And I think everyone knew this,
but no one ever mentioned 
anything untoward about it, so
the big, unspoken secret became,
'just go along with this crap,
and don't sweat it.' You could
tell sometimes by the smirk
on these big table-guys, with
their cigarette smoke wreaths.
They'd go back into their
communal priest house, which
too had its own little church 
and chapel, and they'd hear 
each others' confessions.
I bet that was a real hoot.
When this Bishop Erroneous
guy was here, he heard their
confessions (big, special
treat there). It was a sort
of special treat for them;
made no difference to us, 
but fun to imagine what 
must have gone on. Give 
me a dutiful break. Except 
for boy-sex what could these
guys possibly do wrong?

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