Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Simple Things



Or "The Best Time I Ever had in a Pub".

Image may contain: people sitting and indoor
Photo: Glen Morgan's Irish Pub
It was a Tuesday evening in late April or early May.  I normally work evenings past midnight, but that particular week, I got off at 8:00.  My friend Marcia had just recently found a good job, and wanted to celebrate.  So we went to a pub in the Old Saint-Jean; Glen Morgan's Irish Pub.

No one goes out to a bar on a Tuesday. The Pub was empty, almost, except for a group of military men in one corner.  Since there was no one else, they had commandeered the music, and were playing all kinds of old classic rock songs and laughing and singing along and generally having a grand time.

After sitting by ourselves for a little under an hour, and observing them from our corner, Marcia and I decided we wanted to join in on the fun too.  So we went and sat at two available stools at the bar next to them, which immediately prompted welcoming cheers from them.  They bought us drinks and asked us what music we wanted to hear.

We talked, we listened to good old classics, we sang, and we had a great time.  When it was time to go, Marcia and I went our way, and that was that.

I don't remember their names, I have had no further contact with any of them, but I will always remember them with fondness for that one evening of simple pleasures shared in a pub, with no further expectations than enjoying good music and company.  Sometimes, it really can be as simple as that.  And as profound as that.

A few things have come up in recent days, which make me think, sometimes simple is best.  One being the place of men in Catholicism, and an article on the subject, posted by a friend.  Catholicism (at least in North America) seems to have gone the Pentecostal way, bringing in the "feels" and a lot of either theological and intellectual talk or some very emotional talk, all of which requires a lot of talking, either about feelings or very abstract things.  All this emphasis on feelings and thoughts takes away from the simplicity of just being and acting.  There are people out there who just don't need the bells and whistles or the complexities of theology, or feelings.  All they need is a simple faith, fostered through example.  They go to mass, just because.  Jesus is there.  He said "do this in memory of me", and that's all they need to know.  He said "love one another as I have loved you" and "love your neighbour as yourself" and that's all they need to know. It's that simple, and it's that profound.  And they lead through selfless example, like St. Joseph.  St. Joseph didn't need to know all the whys and hows and whatnots.  He was told not to fear to take Mary as his wife and welcome the child that was not his, and he trusted and he did so.  It was as simple as that. Do we still have a place in our Church for people of a simple faith?

My youngest son's second year of catechism has started up, and the first meeting we looked at the story of the Creation.  In the beginning was chaos. God put order in the chaos, and created the world, the universe.  There are laws of physics and chemistry, so that there might be order in the universe, so that the mixing of two elements always creates a similar reaction, so you always know what to expect, you always fall down, you never fall up, or sideways, and fire always burns, but ice is cold, and you can use these properties to your advantage. In the same way, God gave us laws of human relationships.  If everyone just followed those laws, there would be order in our relationships and there would not be the chaos that we have in society today.  We would not need to complicate things in order to make up for the fact that we were not following the basic laws God set out for us, the 10 commandments.  If people cared more about getting to know the other person, and less about getting sex, if sex were put back into the sacred context of marriage, things would be a whole lot simpler in society. If people cared more about people than about making money, then there would be a lot less chaos in the world. When you ignore the basic laws, you complicate your life.  Sin complicates things, always.  You need to lie, to cheat, to cover things up.  Sometimes, you even need to kill other people, because they get in the way.

You know when things are simple, you're probably going down the right road.