|Why yes, I have spent the past few days exploring the Catholic blogosphere
||[Jun. 23rd, 2012|10:23 pm]
Atheists say that it's not necessary to wear green clothing on Saturdays. And I see where they're coming from. Wouldn't it be really convenient to wake up on Saturday and not have to worry about digging through your dresser, looking for your one pair of good green pants? Wouldn't it make life easier?
Of course it would! When I was in my twenties, I'm not embarassed to admit I spent several years wearing whatever colored clothing I felt like on Saturdays, because I thought I knew better than everyone else. I thought I wanted an easier, more convenient life. Television and movies and glossy fashion magazines all say that's what we should want, and why not believe them?
But here's the secret that modern society has forgotten: there's more to life than just being comfortable. True, it would be easy not to wear green clothing on Saturday. Yes, it would be comfortable not to sleep with a salmon carcass tied to the sole of each foot. And sure, it would be less painful not to poke yourself in the thigh with a sewing needle every time you hear thunder. But is that what we've come to? Believing that the whole point of existence is avoiding pain?
The drive to commodify every aspect of modern society has led us to believe that we can experience life without pain or discomfort, but anyone who examines the world honestly - anyone who takes a step back into the quiet places behind the din of television and rap music and Planned Parenthood meetings - knows that pain and discomfort are just as fundamental to life as joy and convenience. And so when atheists say that life without an obligation to wear green clothing on Saturday would be easy, they're chasing a phantasm, something that can never be.
And even if life could be easy - even if iPhones and McWhoppers and Nike shoes could solve all of our problems - would an easy life really be worth living? It's not the iPhones and Nintendo Wiis that bring us true joy, it's the longing for something outside our own narcissistic navel-gazing, something greater. That's what atheists keep missing. I don't want to wear green clothing on Saturday. I think poking my thigh with a needle during thunderstorms is probably unhygenic. I I I I I I I I I. And the tragedy is that after you look through the protective armor of iPhones and Facebooks, all you have left is a scared child, desperately shouting "I" and "me" at the universe in the hope that it will notice him.
Wearing green clothes on Saturday might not make sense for "I" or "me", but beyond that voice of selfishness is something greater - a true human being with true human dignity. Once you abandon your fear and lose that protective armor, you learn that you don't need iPhones and iTunes and iGoogle to make the universe pay attention to you. The universe loves you exactly the way you are, and would you really reject that love just because you don't want to wear some green clothing one day of the week, or stick one needle into your thigh during a thunderstorm? For such love is a million times louder than your cries of "I", a million times more profound than mere convenience, a million times more important than a thousand fashionable airheads telling you that there's no reason Saturday is any better for wearing green clothes than the rest of the week.
And that all-consuming love, which so many people die without ever hearing or understanding, is why I wear dead fish on my feet every night when I go to bed.