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Some random thoughts from my Ithaca trip

    If you’re curious, I’ve put up a couple of approved
pictures of my cousin Beth in my gallery on my home page. While we were
in the doctor’s office waiting for Beth to be seen, a lady with a
really cute kid came in. He was funny, he had two words to use, “Nana”
for banana, and DA! for everything else. The funniest thing was how he
would point to everything in the magazine she was reading and yell out
definitively “DA!” He knew exactly what everything was, it was DA! I got
a kick out of it…
    I went to church with Beth. I hadn’t been to a
Catholic service in quite some time. I was reminded of how much
emphasis the Church puts on the supernatural and how little the
Protestant faiths do in comparison. The main event of the Mass is
communion, in the Catholic churches this is not a symbolic event, the
wine and bread become the body and blood of Christ (through
transubstantiation). This seriously weirds many people out, but I see a
real symbolic purpose to having rituals like this in the Catholic
churches. It is a strong reminder of how other-worldly the whole thing
is. Most Protestant churches are happy to talk about what God did, what
Jesus did, the Apostles, the prophets, etc. without really acknowledging
how out there all of that stuff is. I don’t mean out there as far as
believability (faith is a funny thing), but out there in the sense that
it has little to do with day to day life. By having a super natural
event every service, the Catholic churches are emphazizing a connection
to the more mystical, less tangible realm of thinking and experience.
It’s an interesting approach, I think that it forms one of the stronger
divisions between how Protestants and Catholics approach religion.
    The trip cost me a bit more than I was anticipating,
but that’s ok, it was worth it. The side effect of that will be that
I’ll be working more hours at Penn. SIGH, I guess I should look on the
bright side, if I’m busy making money, I’m less likely to buy stupid
shit when I’m bored… We’ll see how it goes.

Isaac

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