I got debilitated by some Indian food poisoning, so I let Ryan start the Camino without me. I got some good time in adoration in Pamplona. Let me be clear: I love seeing people of all backgrounds and ages in adoration. No one who claims to be pro-life should even begin to bothered by crying babies in adoration chapels. At the other end of the spectrum, let me say that I love seeing the more “mature” generation in adoration, too. However, someone needs to tell them how not to use a cell phone before the Blessed Sacrament. Who will do it? Ok. I will do it in a top ten countdown:
10) You don’t have to go running out of the chapel to answer your cell phone. Voicemail comes free with every plan.
9) Vibrate is not off. Vibrate is not off. Vibrate is not off.
8) If you actually expect phone calls (yes, assuming you’re going to run and answer them) please don’t put your phone at the bottom of your purse.
7) If you’re actually expecting an emergency to the point that the world won’t continue without you answering your cell phone in adoration, then that’s okay. Short of that, please turn it totally off, not vibrate, not airplane mode. This is an exercise in humility for arrogant people like me to remind ourselves that no one needs me as much as I need Jesus in adoration. If your daughter really needs you, she’ll leave you a voicemail without considering if she should leave the family, just because you didn’t pick up.
6) If you plan on your phone ringing in adoration, please pick a different tune than circus music. This happened with an older woman in an adoration chapel in Pamplona today, so I realized this isn’t an American-only-problem.
5) Two accidental phone calls in the same adoration session is probably a sign you shouldn’t own a cell phone. This too happened with the circus-woman in Pamplona today.
4) If you’re actually going to adoration in order to screen calls, although this approach is ridiculous, here’s some concessionary advice: Please figure out the button needed to reject a call. That’s better than panicking, answering it, and immediately hanging up on the caller.
3) Whatever you do, do not answer your cell phone in adoration, whispering “HELLO!?” into your phone. This does not help anyone, in the chapel or on the other line. Adoration is a special place, different from all the rest. How different? I once heard an older man in adoration clipping off his fingernails. I looked. He was actually using metal toenail clippers right before exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. I turned and asked if he could please attend to his personal hygiene at home. True story.
2) If you must have throat lozenges to talk on your cell phone, fine, but could the candy wait until home? There are children in there you’re supposed to be setting the example for.
1) If you can’t remember any of these, here´s the best part: Just don’t bring your cell phone into the adoration chapel.
The personal physician of Mother Teresa died two days ago (7 May 2015.) May God grant eternal light and peace to Dr. Alfred C. Woodward M.D.
Actually, I brought him all the sacraments two days before that, including Mass in his room. He had had a heart attack a month or two ago, but I was surprised at his rapid demise, considering that when I saw him, he was awake, alert, ambulatory…and extremely polite. Since his death, the sisters have told me about his wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor of Kolkata, and it is top news for the Times of India.
Here’s a picture taken by his son for me, outside their place in Kolkata, right after I saw him for the last time:
The Americans I live with got me Old Spice, for showers here are rendered useless within five minutes of walking through the streets of Kolkata. Old Spice is a time-tested product that has been eclipsed by newer sprays that promise impassioned encounters with strangers. So, I’m happy to go with the Old Spice. However, with the above advertising, I suspect that Old Spice decided that instead of simply replacing the geriatric connotations with sex, they could just combine the two.
This advertising stunt of being self-deprecating is a bit like how Radio Shack had a Super Bowl commercial with the Muppets so as to display a good self-deprecating admission of antiquated products. This way they could have a good [forced] laugh with their customers and move on in their sales (or sink into bankruptcy, like Radio Shack did.) So also, Old Spice declares:
If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.
While that is a bit obnoxious and surely not a visual that any customer wants, there is a profound truth in it: Attraction was for procreation in a bygone era when no one questioned that connection between babies and bonding, even if pheromonically amplified by grandpappy’s Old Spice. (N.B. My blog’s spell-check was very disapproving that I just turned the noun “pheromone” into an adverb. )
Old Spice’s advertising recognizes a pre-contraceptive era when male-female attraction produced children. I don’t have such a rose-colored view of the past as to think that our grandparents didn’t sin. But back then, even if your parent was conceived before WWII and your grandparents got married after WWII, this union was still ordered towards…existence, life…in a time of so much world-wide death and world wars.
Existence: This tremendous reality that God’s creation should leave us in awe at His super-abundant, super-diverse creating power. God wills your existence as He declares: IT IS GOOD THAT YOU EXIST.
God bless Old Spice for even talking (albeit in an slightly-gross way) about family, pro-creation and that most-important word of Thomistic Metaphysics: existence.