Monday, February 9, 2009

Probably Old News...

I've seen links to this article in the New York Times about the return of Indulgences. Though, from what I understand they never went away. I didn't really under stand too much about them. I think despite the fact that I am a cradle Catholic, had six years of pretty good high school Catholic education (two of which was middle school but it was in one school), there is so much about my faith and religion I didn't understand, indulgences being one of them. I'd only heard how bad they were, that's why Luther had a fit and left the Church. Ok... still I never really thought much about them, until recently.

So many things I've worked through about my faith and the church I've worked through them with my writing. I haven't posted anything I've written fiction-wise in this blog before. This is just a snippet of a scene where my character (who went through 16 years of Catholic school) shows how naive and apathetic she is when it comes to her faith and religious upbringing. It takes place just after her twin brother's ordination to the priesthood. She's been pretty much lapsed from the church for roughly six years or so, and before that, she never gave her faith much of a thought.

None of this will make much sense, but at least I'm not the only one who didn't know much about indulgences. ;-)

“Where are you having your first Mass?” Angela asks Andrew.

“Next Sunday at the Cathedral. I expect all of you there, especially you,” he says looking directly at me. “You’ll even get an indulgence.”

I nod my head, pretending like I know what he’s talking about even though I’m clueless. I suppose I’ll look it up when I get home.

Dad eyes me specifically, “we’ll all be there, won’t we Isabel?”

I shrug. “Yes, Dad.”

Then my dad focuses his attention on my grandmother, who goes to church even less than I do. “Mom? You’re going to be there too, right?”

“Yes, Mijo,” Grandma says. “I’ll sit in back with Isabel, in case the church starts crumbling down.”

After dinner, we all go our separate ways. Angela and Christopher follow my parents to the car, my grandparents tell us to come over tomorrow after Mass for brunch. My grandpa slips me a small, wrapped box and says to open it later. Grandma Leonor kisses my cheek and tells me that she hopes I like it. “I love you, Mija.”

“I’m sure I will," I slip the box into my bag and look at her, wondering if I should ask my question or not. "Grandma, what’s an indulgence?”

She looks at me a bit annoyed for asking. She hates answering religious questions. “It’s kind of like a free get out of purgatory card,” she says rolling her eyes.

“Honestly, Leonor,” Grandpa shakes his head and looks at my grandma a bit disappointed, then he turns to me and tells me, “ask your brother, he’ll give you the right answer.”

Grandma scowls, it’s obvious her animosity for the church runs deep. So conceding to Grandpa, she tells me to ask Andrew. Grandpa hugs and kisses me and then they leave. He walks just behind her, with his hand on his back, but she pulls away.


Garpu said...

Neat. :) what was in the box?

Maria said...

Pearls. It was also her birthday. I guess his too. The running joke in the family is that he ruined their birthday with his ordination.