09 November 2008

Pious Meditation on Today's Reading

Jesus drives the moneychangers from the temple. (John 2:13-22)

This reminds me of a particularly meditative passage in a devotional I've been going through, in which the saintly authors discuss ways to incorporate Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises into daily life:
The Jesuit method suggests you close your eyes, compose yourself in prayer, and try to evoke the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings that Jesus must have gone through.

[Thus, imagine Jesus]:

--While He sat, bored, in the Temple, listening to the rabbis explain the Old Testament (which He'd written) or the universe (which He'd created).
--As He stunned an entire village by raising Lazarus from the dead. Dig deep into the rotting stuff at the back of your refrigerator to evoke the scent; "Lord, by this time he stinketh." (John 11:39).
--As He chased the moneychangers out of the Temple. The next time you spot a really upsetting liturgical abuse, treat it as an opportunity to imitate Christ. If you lack knotted cords, a bicyle chain should do.
I can say that, with regard to the third exercise, I had a chance to implement this pious practice at this morning's Mass, with remarkable results. When parishioners began leaving church in droves immediately after Holy Communion, I took out my corded whip (conveniently in my purse) and flogged the lot of them. Taken by surprise at a pregnant woman brandishing a rawhide while screaming, "Get behind me, Satan!", they fled in terror, half of them pledging never to leave Mass early again, the other half (who were functionally Protestants anyway) promising never to come back to church at all. Rather effective!