Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plastic Jesus 2.0

I was raised a loyal son of Holy Mother Church. We trudged, as a class (never mind the grade; the nuns believed in putting the suffer in "suffer the little children") down Somerset Street from the school, crossing Easton Avenue where Carroll's Hamburgers was across from Greasy Tony's, and went to the basement of the church every first Thursday of the month for confession before attendance the following morning at First Friday Mass.

I thought about those children's crusades and how far I've come in the five decades since I stopped making that journey when I came across something right of Orwell's 1984. The book always frightened me more than the movie adaptations, because I can be scarier than anyone outside my head. But now that I'm more of a catholic with a small "c" (if I'm even that anymore), the notion of Jesus on a Screen in my living room, and now in my cell phone, is even beyond where I could have forced myself to go.

I'm more than sufficiently afraid of an unexamined life, mostly my own, so the notion of a dummy's guide for an examination of conscience isn't quite the good news that its inventor Patrick Leinen would like me to think it is and I'd say 'God Bless you' but I'm not sure he's sneezed. Based on the NPR account, I suggest we hang around awhile and see if Elizabeth Baker has anything interesting she'd like to share with the class. You Catholic girls start much too late.

It is very comforting to know there's an app for that but both the Act of Confession and the performance of the Penance have no virtual substitutes. Through my trials and tribulations and my travels through the nations; with my plastic Jesus. It's all fun and games until the Heavenly Kingdom at the End of Days turns out to be http 404. Then we're really counting on signs and wonders.
-bill kenny

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