Saturday, April 2, 2005


The Pope is dying. Apparently there are people holding vigil for him and praying for him. In the Catholic faith, you die and are judged. You go to heaven, hell or purgatory which I remember being described to me as sort of the waiting room for heaven. Prayer is supposed to help the dead get out of the waiting room. Prayer for the immortal soul of the Pope seems kind of redundant but maybe he scores bonus points. He should because who else has a straight shot at the pearly gates? If there were a line or a maximum occupancy, he's probably going to be a little further on the queue than the rest of us.

My husband starting going on about how he moves up one rung on the ladder to the papacy. I tried to explain to him that having been baptized Catholic as a baby and never practicing might be a problem. So might our marriage. So might the billion or so people who are more religious and devout than him. I mean, I was a practicing Catholic for much of my childhood and that meant I might be a little closer to it than him. Then he just HAD to point out my gender as a problem. Hey, it didn't stop Pope Joan.

So I guess we aren't exactly top choices.

I could have been a nun. I should have pointed this out to him. Yep. I actually considered it when I was about eight. Of course, I was always taught that God called people to serve him and I would need to pass that crucial test to determine whether or not I wanted to be one. Then I got worried. What if I missed the call. Or, worse, what if I actually got the call.

"Hi, this is God."
"You know, God, the almighty. I was just sitting up here in heaven going over my list of earthly helpers and discovered I had an opening. So, I thought I'd give you a call and let you know that I could use a nun."
"I'm sorry, who did you want to talk to?" Panic. Panic. Panic. " I think you've got the wrong number."
"I don't know about that. My phone service is pretty good..."
"Listen, I've got to go. My parents want me to do the dishes."

So, was it that simple? Did you get a booming voice raining down from the sky or did you have this conversation in your head because, either way, my mother was going to think I was insane.

"Wait now, tell me again...what, precisely, happened?"
"Well, God called me. It's nothing definite because he might have gotten the wrong number but, yeah, he called."
"Like on the telephone?"
"No, more like in my head. I guess there's and opening and my name came up. So, when can you take me to the convent?"