So anyway, about the closest we came to a religious service was watching Charlton, Yul, and Vincent and Edward G. Its an important enough story anyway, so we filled in the blanks for Stella as we watched along, commenting on what a lousy military mind Rameses must've been: if some supernatural force was going to part the Red Sea for your opponent, did you really think it would keep it open for you, too? Dumbass. You deserve to lose your entire army for such a bonehead move. Now you have no army, no slaves, [deniro mode] you got nothin'. You hear me? You got nothin'! [/deniro]
Anyway I was bummed out that Stella's uvula kept me home from a Saturday Night Vigil with Archbishop Dolan. I'm liking him and I think he's good for the archdiocese, as if the archdiocese gives a hoot about a lapsed catholic like me who turns up for mass at the cathedral once or twice a year for the pomp and circumstance. At least it spared me from difficult questions, which I wasn't in the mood to deal with. Last year, before mass began, Stella was looking up at the cross and I had to explain to her why that was a particularly grisly way to be executed, which prompted her question "Why didn't they just kill him the normal way?" I had to put aside for a minute that it's kind of sad that we can expect a politically-motivated state-sponsored execution could be done in a "normal" way, and I had to think for a minute. But it really brought it home for me: "Because the Romans wanted people to be afraid. They wanted to do this extremely publicly and painfully so that people would see 'This is what we do to people who talk like this.' " She kind of understood. "But," I told her, "it backfired. Instead of being afraid, people realized that if Jesus was willing to go through all this, than his message must've been really important. Instead of being afraid, they started talking to each other and trying to following his teachings." And as though I'd been overheard, the theme of Dolan's homily that night was Christ's message after he'd risen "Do not be afraid." It was perfect, and Stella seemed to have gotten the point.