Sts. Barnes & Noble

stack-of-booksChurch.  It’s that place that your parents forced you to attend because they believed it was salvation for their children and they were not to be disappointed.  After all, salvation of their children hinged on their own or so they were taught.  Selfish or altruistic, who knows.

My Church (capital “C”) taught me that there is no salvation outside of it (or “her” as the Catholic Church likes to describes it(her)self because Jesus is a male and married to the it(or her).  Most other major religions boost the same acclaimed end in their certitude about the great mystery of the life after this one.  (Does Kool Aid come to mind?)

“Pray, pay and obey” is the organized religion’s joke about itself when it’s the first one that only matters.  Pray.  Recognize something greater than yourself and then do something about it.  Be strongly rooted in your life but own that your roots belong to someone else.  Look at everyone each day and see a connection because they are a part of your life as much as you are a part of yours.

A friend of mine told me that he spends quiet time on a Sunday morning at Barnes and Noble.  I looked the two of them up in my Catholic saints book but couldn’t seem to locate either one of them.  It was enlightening to be enlightened by a personal response from him to a divine call.  And it’s only a book store.  One hour or three?  Doesn’t matter when the quality is measured against evaluating the past week and renewing the new week to come.

It’s not the same as my rote ritual which was created to be such.  The repeating of repeating words are intended to bring about that necessary future salvation.

Most people believe in God but would never agree on who He/She is.  Most people would admit to praying in an anonymous survey because they want to give the correct answer even if that answer isn’t practiced.

I stand before hundreds of people on a Sunday morning repeating and repeating in hopes of an eternal resolution for them and my good friend sits quietly at Barnes and Noble.  Who’s right?  Who’s enjoying salvation?  Eternally, I have no idea but he’s response to life’s chaos and choices is a “time out” time at a book store on a Sunday morning while I’m trying to please the masses through the Mass.  I believe that his salvation is achieved right now in his resolve and resolutions while we Catholics are still waiting for ours.

Right?  Wrong?  I wonder.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
This entry was posted in Spirituality and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.