Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Not long ago I heard a homily by a priest who invoked the Flannery O'Connor short story, "Revelation."

[from the wikipedia entry for "Revelation"] "Ruby Turpin, a smug, Southern woman, enters and dominates by her large size, a crowded waiting room at a doctor's office. She is accompanied by her submissive husband Claud, who takes the last empty seat in the room. Almost immediately, Mrs. Turpin begins surveying the room and assessing the others seated around her. In her head, she labels each person, judging them by her own self-important standards : a pleasant woman, her daughter, a white trash woman and her sleeping son, and an old woman (the white trash woman's mother).

Mrs. Turpin strikes up a conversation with the pleasant woman about the importance of being refined and having a good disposition. They also talk about being grateful and how it is important to be thankful for the good things you have been given in life, clearly tied to their notions of what it means to be a good Christian. The entire time they are conversing, the white trash woman repeatedly interjects comments that show her ignorance and lack of intelligence. The pleasant woman's daughter, Mary Grace, a fat ugly college girl" whose face is "blue with acne" grows more and more outraged at Mrs. Turpin's self-righteous twaddle. 
At last, driven to distraction, she hurls the book she's reading--Human Development--at Mrs. Turpin, lunges for her throat, and snarls, "Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart-hog."

If we've allowed ourselves to be known, loved, and seen, really seen, by God, the priest continued, we can't help but be humble. And if we haven't--we'll never be humble. We'll be so afraid of being found out for who we really are, that we'll be sad and stuck our whole lives.

Montserrat Caballe: Il Pirata "With the smile of innocence"

With the smile of innocence, 
with the glance of love 
pray speak to your father of clemency and pardon.
 Pray speak to your father. 
Tell him, ah tell him that you live, 
tell him that you are free because of me, 
so that he may look mercifully upon the one who did so much for you. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! A great encouragement to press on and not give up. To TRUST in God's goodness, to LOVE, in the face of who I am today.


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