ALLSORTS
Life, Living, Becoming...
by
Gerry Coughlan

 Icons and Fonts

Chapter on computer stuff? 'Fraid not. This was long before Windows 3.1 worked on a 386 16MHz with a 60MB HDD, with space to spare!

We're onto Lapsed Catholicism and Guilt. It's a way of life only made easier when you move away from the ever watchful eyes of the priests and nuns. You should salute them in the street, you know and make the sign of the cross when you see an ambulance going by with its siren wailing.

Please God, for their sake, I hope they listened to their ma and put on clean underwear this morning.

It's probably the first thing the nurses check when you get to the hospital.
Leave him to one side. He didn't put clean ones on this morning.
The dirty beggar!


When I was growing up, I would gargle with holy water if I had a tickle of a sore throat. Now that's faith!

And there was a little font next to the front door to bless yourself before venturing out into the big, bad world.

Those were the Fire & Brimstone days. Sins mattered. God was above angry but he must've got disappointed often by the things kids did. You didn't ask too many questions, honoured your father and mother and did what you were told.

I remember asking my mom before my first confession if picking your nose was a sin. No, it's a disgusting habit. Don't bother the priest with it.

When I made my First Communion I recall waiting for hours for the host to dissolve when it got stuck on the roof of my mouth. We'd been warned not to put our heathen hands near it. A few years later the priest himself was putting it in your hands. Now who decided, after years of terrifying young Christian soldiers that it didn't matter anymore?

Once I reached my teenage years, if you were inside the grounds of the Church during Mass, you could look your ma in the eye and say you'd been. They had a small speaker in the porch for the overflow - (it got pretty packed towards the last Mass at midday. There was none of this, Oh come on Saturday evening, God won't mind. It's all the same) - and we'd stop talking long enough to know what the sermon was about and which Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians was the reading.
Stop no, I remember it was about the apostles having tongues of fire all around them, in an empty room near Damascus while they were waiting for Jesus to come back... or something... I'm sure...

There were icons everywhere: from the St. Christopher magnet stuck to me uncle's dashboard (you'd have a St. Christopher medal sown into your coat if your ma was the nervous type - mine wasn't) to the little shrine to St. Jude (the patron saint of hopeless causes) that me one aunt had.

If you lost something it would be foolhardy not to pass by the Church and light a candle, in the alcove, for St. Anthony to help you find it.
A very useful Saint and he made a fortune out of us youngsters.

Sure you'd lose your head if it wasn't screwed on, ye eejit!


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© gerry coughlan 1998 - 2012 gerry coughlan