Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TV Station Church Service

Greetings fellow Network of Love lovers!

I am typing this blog in the comfort of my single room here at All Saints Parish. It’s nighttime, but I’m going to pretend as if I’m typing this in the morning because I’m going to post it (well it will be a post by the time you read it) in the morning. An unnecessary and completely useless explanation for something you fellow lover wouldn’t have thought otherwise of. But anyways (and here is why I used the first three sentences of this blog to explain a petty fudging of the time, in a sense)…it’s a beautiful Wednesday morning! (I am forecasting, playing the role of your local forecaster). Funny I should talk about forecasting, Fr. Carl and I were at the Fox 6 TV station Tuesday morning. While inside a studio at the station, I remember looking at six computer monitors all with various meteorology jive running amok across the screen. The studio had some serious bite to it, and it made me reminisce a bit about my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin working in a different journalistic environment for one of the college daily newspapers. We didn’t do weather, and even if we would have, our coverage would never have competed with the radar known to Milwaukeeans as “Doppler 6000.”

So what brought a priest and me to the Fox 6 channel station, wading in the same room as meteorological monsters? Well, Fr. Carl was actually there to say a mass that will be aired on Father’s Day, June 15. I tagged along with him because I am staying at All Saints for the summer. There was a sort of interesting vibe to the whole thing, attending mass at a TV station. I remember Fr. Carl making a joke that he was sort of “out of his element.” Needless to say, the musicians and the reader for the televised mass were probably a bit out of their element too. I kept thinking that Fr. Carl was bound to whip out some Fulton Sheen cape (he was a Catholic priest who did a lot of televised stuff in the 1950s and 1960s--- that’s really all I know about the guy…that, and he wore a cape looking thingy). But, despite the fact that everything seemed a little out of its element for a church service and all, once the cameras rolled, the element was there. The cantor sung, the piano player plunked, the reader proclaimed, and Fr. Carl presided. And that was that. As weird as it felt to watch a mass from a TV set, I, as a Christian believe that the Spirit of Christ lived in that room. Nothing can contain love in whatever form it takes. In those moments taping a mass, love was present in the mass being said for those who may be unable to attend church on Sunday mornings. Our gospels tell us that Jesus taught people wherever two or three would gather in his name, he would be there with them. That person watching on the TV has gathered herself or himself to love God. God is present. Us on the TV set both watching and participating in the service to be aired gathered and thus allowed the Spirit of Christ to dwell in some mysterious way in the awkward context of a TV set.

For all my friends who aren’t religious, I hope this blog didn’t leave you lost. If it did, I apologize. But what I want anyone and everyone to take from this blog is that to show signs of love, we don’t need a big stage, a big gift, or a big plan. We don’t need a group of hundreds to worship God just like we don’t need a group of hundreds to throw a baseball around. What we need, though, is a big heart. I know baseball fans have big hearts for their teams (I see it in Milwaukee with the Brew Crew). I also know people of faith have big hearts. When those hearts are big, pure and open for love to enter, then love will manifest and make itself known. And so, love will gather. People will love. People will live to love each other. This is what we pray for.

More El Salvador postings to come later this week, I hope…

Enjoy the rest of your day. Put a smile on. I’ll try to do the same ☺

Peace and with love to my sisters and brothers,

Your friend bob.

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