Putz

putzYou don’t want to be one but it’s okay to do it.  What a great  word that I rarely hear.  You make a mistake at work and an older worker says, “Stop being a putz and do it right.”  Saturday afternoon is spent putzing around the house; evening comes and you wonder what you’ve accomplished.

Think of a couple thousand years of religious thinking and the small piece of salt that we believers hold on to.  Some of it is glorious and enduring, others heretical (at least to the mindset of that time), some theoretical still waiting the test of time and coming forward at times as though it is new while our piece of salt is cemented in us since childhood.

I’ve realized that there are no “pagans.”  We should truly call them “People-wh0-do-not-believe-the-same-way-that-we-believe-but-use-the-same-stuff.”  (A little long but it works. PWDNBTSWTWBBUTSS anyone?  Is a web domain available?)  All of our Christian symbols and gestures (note the word “all”) are lifted from pagan practices and we Christianize them and hold them up as if we invented what cannot be invented.  (Being smug does takes practice but practice does make…)  There are only so many elements to move from temporal to divine: water, fire, earth and air.  Easter, Christmas, the Mass, weddings, funerals, baptisms, confession are all adopted from other practices.  Instead of using a pagan god’s name we insert “Jesus” or “One God.”

Every church or spiritual belief has been taken from other beliefs and reshaped, rethought and represented in different ways and all claim that their application is now the “true” or “real” or “eternal.”  (Sounds like a shampoo commercial.  Even Rome is called the “Eternal City” as though bricks and mortar have no time limits.)  All of us in our religious and spiritual ways are “putzs” in this life journey.  We each have a piece of the salt but no person or institution has the whole shaker.

I don’t wish to be a putz in my short reflection but I do enjoy the putz of what others have done before me and probably did better than I’m putzing with today.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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