Roman Catholicism is really powerful stuff. Really powerful. I should know. Born and raised with it. Married a woman who teaches in a Catholic school by her cousin, the Monsignor.
Maybe it's the blood. You see, as Catholics, we believe that the wine we get with Communion on Sunday is really blood. It may taste like wine, and look like wine, but a miracle occurs every Sunday where that fermented grape juice literally turns into the blood of Jesus thanks to the miracle of transubstantiation. Then we all drink it, giving some credence to the quaint theory that Catholics are really cannibals.
Why all this banter about Catholicism? Well, I read this week that Anne Rice has another book coming out, a book called Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt and I heard that she'd returned to the Church, I knew that Roman Catholicism had done its work yet again. Yes, if you hadn't heard already, Anne Rice had a life changing medical emergency a little while back and had to have life or death surgery. Though long out of the fold, this encounter with mortality has brought about her reconciliation with the Church. Now she is ready to do God's work, she says. That and her new trilogy of books about the life of Jesus told from Jesus' point of view may not be something that all her long time diehard fans will want to read.
And don't get me wrong, I'm not down on her in the least for doing this. I'm just not surprised by it. People use the phrase "Mother Church", and it is literally true... she is a mother to all of us. Some may love her, some may come to hate her, but she has shaped and nurtured all of us in ways that we cannot always fully discern. Maybe that's true of all religions... but I can only be familiar with the shapes and patterns of my own.
I was thinking about Anne Rice and Catholicism today... and I realized where her villians come from. They are always dark, gothic creatures... kind of like Catholic Priests in their old school, pre-Vatican II flowing cassocks. Cut off from regular relationships with other human beings, they are either almost celibate or highly sexualized in ways that embody all the dark fantasies that Catholicism rails against. No, even in her work that attempts to get away where she came from... all the marks and signs of Mother Church are there. Eating? All you want. Drinking? Get drunk, get in a fight, and fall down... well, not every night, but within reason. Music and dancing? No problem. Sex? Once a year and only to have children, if you are really serious about getting into heaven. What do you think she's writing about?
So Anne Rice has made her peace with the Catholic Church. Good for her. I just hope that some of those people I knew in high school who were such avid fans of hers... like the one who I heard later was screaming Satanic epithets during her step sister's wedding ceremony... I hope those people can handle it. Welcome back to the fold, Anne. I haven't read one of your books in a while... but I'm sorely tempted... we have the same the mother, and I'm curious about what you have to say about your journey as a Catholic.
on 2005-10-28 at 9:38 p.m.
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