Last night, over dinner, Dennis and I were telling our pastor how frustrating it is that so many people assume certain things about us because we both work for the Church. They seem to think we listen to nothing but Gregorian chant, we complained. They imagine that we can’t possibly have a good sense of humor because we must spend all our time in prayer or religious reading or something along those lines, we whined. And it is true. People do often make assumptions about who we are and what we like based on what they imagine our professions require or inspire.
No sooner were the words out of our mouths, when Chiara walked into the room holding not one but two Infant of Prague statues brought directly from Prague by her godfather, who is a priest. When I yelled across the room, “Put down the Infant of Prague,” the ridiculousness of the situation hit and suddenly Dennis and I were laughing because I guess in some ways we are kind of churchy (me definitely more so than him). In rapid fire succession, Chiara brought in a Kateri Tekakwitha bracelet that I brought back from the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville this fall and a small icon of St. Clare (her namesake) straight from the Basilica di Santa Chiara in Assisi (She has a first-class relic of St. Clare in her bedroom), and a plastic wine glass that she happened to be using as a chalice earlier that afternoon. I swear it was the first time she has ever pretended to play Mass. (There must be something in the Code of Canon Law regarding girls taking on the role of priest in their pretend play.)
Dennis and I sat at the table with our mouths hanging open as Chiara paraded through with one religious item after another, giving considerable heft to the misguided notion that Church people spend too much free time on Church things. Good thing we really do have a sense of humor. Even so I think I’ll put the religious items under lock and key before the next dinner party.