Saturday, March 22, 2008

Elvis and the Pope

"People who trust in themselves and in their own merits are, as it were, blinded by their own 'I', and their hearts harden in sin."-Pope Benedict XVI (Found in USA Today, on Good Friday 2008)

This is the end of Holy Week for Roman Catholics. Lent is supposed to be a time for introspection and soul searching with fasting and prayer. I was raised as a Catholic and it is woven into the cloth of my being. Because of conflicts of doctrine, theirs and mine, I am not a practicing Catholic, but cannot deny the influence on my life. Mom, on the other hand, is a devout Catholic and has been her entire life. She still sings in the choir and attends all the religious services throughout the year. My Mom is also a big fan of Elvis Presley, The King. She played Elvis' Golden Records so often I can still sing each song with the same inflections Elvis sings.

Thanks to her love of all types of music, we were raised in a house where you might hear opera,
Gilbert and Sullivan, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, Benny Goodman, Latin dance or Elvis at any given time. She also loves canaries and there was usually one singing in the living room. One little guy, Sunset, could out sing any aria she played. She was cleaning his cage one afternoon supplying fresh newspaper, water and food. There was a little birdbath for him, which he enjoyed. Elvis was crooning 'I Want You, I Need You, I Love You' in the background.

We were just sitting there watching Sunset shake the water from his feathers. Mom was listening to The King, smiling. She said "You know this song reminds me of God, 'I want you, I need you, I love you'. Don't you think so?" I really didn't know what to say, but she looked so happy I smiled and nodded. It took some growing up for me to realize that my Mom sees the sacred in almost everything. It took me even longer to aspire to do the same.

Now Mom has the utmost respect for her spiritual leader, the Pope, but doesn't agree with everything he says. It's true, I've been at odds with some Catholic issues, so for Pope Benedict XVI to make this statement does not surprise me. "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" may have way too many 'I's' in it for his taste, but Mom would smile. It still reminds her of God, perhaps the oneness we all share. We are all spiritual beings on a journey. A little music makes the road a bit easier to travel.

quote from Perceval Press
Photo~Elvis & company Russian nesting dolls from cool Nness swap
CD cover Elvis' Golden Records (yeah, I still sing along :).

No comments: