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Friday, February 23, 2024

The Church Is a Bridge, Buckling and Swaying


The Catholic Church is like a bridge.

Imagine a huge chasm, vast, overwhelming, terrifying. It reaches so far down you can't see the bottom, just swirling mist, but you hear thunder and crashing sounds of avalanches, and a roaring of great waters. The Church is like a one-arc bridge leaping across the chasm in a single bound.

The only way across the abyss is this arcing bridge. Yet many people don't want to take the bridge because the chasm is so vast and threatening, and the bridge looks so small in comparison. These folk stay on the near side of the chasm, shivering. Eventually, they wander away. Others cross the bridge easily enough, though they are laden with a lot of baggage. But as they get part way across, and the bridge's arc rises, they start to become unhinged. Some, terrified, run back to the near side, carrying their baggage. Others start shouting and dancing and quivering and shaking. They begin to open their luggage and take out all sort of shocking things; they shout obscenities and engage deviant acts – until, in groups or singly, they literally jump off the bridge, screaming. Still another crowd scoffs and laughs. They stand on the near side, hooting and scowling, and say, "Fools! That's not really a bridge at all. It's a fake bridge. Never was a bridge. Leads nowhere. Everyone, everyone who walks that bridge, the good or the bad or the in-between, end up in the chasm below." This crowd then walks away, noses in the air, though a few remain to mock. 

Then there's a group that marches across together, organized. They sing religious songs and recite prayers, and do not carry much in terms of luggage. They've been going over this bridge for a very long time. Yet about 60 years ago some of them added a new lane to the bridge. Those taking this new lane didn't pray very much, and spent a lot of time on the near side drinking coffee and tea and eating donuts, and attending psychology lectures. When they do cross, now and then, they drag along a lot of fancy, trendy, colorful baggage. Lately, their leaders DRIVE across the bridge, in big, weighty electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are very heavy compared to internal-combustion engine cars. They put a LOT of weight on any bridge, road, or car garage. AND these big bosses carry with them a lot of crazies in outlandish costumes, making a lot of noise, and committing all sorts of carnal acts in the process. It as though they were sort of on a parade route, a demented Mardi Gras. The bridge, especially the novo lane they use, is buckling. It's cracking. It emits all sort of squeaks and groans and snapping sounds. Finally the biggest electric vehicle of all starts across, driven by a very fat man in white, who orders the other lane closed to traffic (though many ignore his order). His heavyweight transport is carrying the most outlandish characters yet seen. The bridge begins to seriously wobble.

Will the bridge fall? Will it snap? Or only the novo lane, obviously the weakest? Will it become a single-file bridge? Stay tuned. But as you step back from the bridge you notice a plaque bolted on the near-side entrance. It reads: "Founded by the Holy Ghost on the First Pentecost Sunday. The Gates of Hell will not prevail against it. -Signed Jesus Christ, Sovereign King." It's a bit tarnished, and the mocking crowd papered over it at one point. The perverts then splashed it with gaudy paint. But it is still there, still legible, for those to see who can.


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