Sunday, November 9, 2014

Canadian Tenors


THE CANADIAN TENORS WILL DO THIS

Listening to them, I get the same feeling as when I look at the ocean or walk a mountain path or watch autumn leaves streaming to the ground. Such beauty encourages me to believe in not just a better world, but an interested creator.

I consider myself a Catholic, though a weak if not borderline one. I haven’t been to mass since Father Lehocky retired from St. Peter’s in Columbia (SC).

I admire the Church’s doctrine of love and forgiveness. There’s love for people of any color, culture, or religion. There’s forgiveness for the worst of offenses, from drug dealing to child abuse. Jesus must have been divine to have given life to beliefs that inspire us to love and forgive. By the way, I’ve had a simplistic view of forgiveness, which I learned from others. I don’t forgive the unrepentant. And forgive doesn’t mean forget.

I respect the Church’s unflinching support of one dogma, in spite of not believing some of it. Given the human condition, a religion unsure of its credo invites chaos and would inevitably become a tool of unscrupulous leaders. I say this knowing full well the Church has created dogma in the past that has inspired neither love nor forgiveness.

Catholic authorities who decide our beliefs are only human, and history suggests they acted in self interest at times. Maybe one can argue that there have been times when its survival was in question precipitating a desperate reaction.

Whatever the Church’s past, I know of no other church or religion with a more humane ideology. If all religions taught love and forgiveness, I think the world would be a better place.

◊ ROCHELLE, ILLINOIS 

Went to a Stanard family reunion in Rochelle, Illinois several weeks ago. Reunions are emotional minefields, whether for weddings, funerals, anniversaries, or just to acquaint relatives. Much is made of them in books (e.g., Willa Cather’s My Antonia; Tim O’Brian’s July July; Erich Segal’s The Class) and movies (e.g., Four Weddings and a Funeral; Peggy Sue Got Married; Since You’ve Been Gone; The Big Chill) or just Google "reunion" for a list of books that have reunion in the title.

My husband’s generation of Stanards had a hard-luck childhood with a single struggling parent. It’s to their credit that each of the four kids became successful in business. They’re a mix of conservatives and liberals, all of them secure in their political opinions. They’re a mix of religious and non-religious people. These differences don’t interfere with their camaraderie, at least not in the grand scheme of things.

Here’s a photo of me with relatives. I'm second from left, photo courtesy of Ellen Himelfarb. By the way, the pottery on the stump (center forefront) was made by my brother-in-law Steve, who has a studio in Oak Park, Illinois. He often gives us pieces, which I treasure.

◊ CINCINNATI, OHIO 

Went to Cincinnati for Halloween. The area around Mount Lookout Square is where little monsters prey on adult ghouls and end the night with more candy than they can eat in a month. We were as scary as the best of them. 



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