Relational Religion

Frank Sinatra had four of them. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Taylor beats Frank by doubling hers.

Who are these people? Who are we? Relational as we social beings tend to be. Some more relational then others.

I have friends who proved that “third time is a charm” is true when it comes to marriage.


You can’t say that your Catholic and then just stay home. When we say we’re a “practicing Catholic,” we know what you mean. I, however, am not a practicing Catholic. I’m not practicing, I know what I’m doing.

In this religion thing, it’s all about relationships. You enter Church, kneel for a quiet time before Mass with a prayer or two. You’ve now acknowledged your relationship with your Creator. We then sing about God and the other two (now there’s a firm relationship), what each did and does for us and how we can strengthen those relationships with those three up there through our relations with each other. Now that’s a lot of relating in one sentence. That’s a lot of relating our whole lives.

Joshua offers a choice, either stay on the toilet or get off of it. He says either worship the God who created you or go back to worshipping the gods that you’ve created. A choice. Jesus offers his followers the same ultimatum. He says, “Always look for something and someone greater than yourself and will find me, my Father and the Holy Spirit.” Jesus lost followers that day. Lost to either confusion, selfishness or ignorance. Peter admits, “Where else would I go?” Yes, indeed, where else can you experience the holy and sacred relationship like the One, True God gives us.

And here’s another “yes,” there will be disagreements and discord. Yet, another “yes,” there will always be our honoring of the one selfless sacrifice that illustrates the sacrifices we need to make in our many relationships.

You know, if you only relate to people who agree with you, then you have gotten off the toilet all right. But now your only staring at yourself in the bathroom mirror. Stuck in the bathroom.

Continue to prayer for all your relationships; those good ones, those not so good, those indifferent and the special ones you’re passionate about. Because that’s been God’s plan the whole time.

All right. The suspense is over.

Frank Sinatra: Barbato, Gardner, Farrow, Marx.
Elizabeth Taylor: Hilton, Wilding, Todd, Fisher, Burton, Burton, Warner, Fortensky.

“Relational Liz” ought to be her name. Conrad Hilton Jr., eight months; Michael Wilding, five years; Mike Todd, one year – but at least he died; Eddie Fisher, five years; Richard Burton, ten years, then less year; John Warner, six years; Larry Fortensky, five years.

Who was she? Who are we? Joyful, discouraged, happy, sad, doubtful, alone, content, abandoned, complete?

Not to completely disparage Ms. Taylor…at different times in our lives, doesn’t that sound a lot like our relationship with God and His two friends up there?

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
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