The other day I was watching the movie about St. Therese. One of the scenes is where her father, and the girls were in the living room. The father was at the organ making music, and his girl’s were dancing. One of the girls asked their father:
“Did you and Mama dance?”
“No, I never danced with your mother. I wish I had. I guess we were too pious.” (The mother had died.)
My thoughts begin to drift to when we take our “piety” too far. So far, that we will not do a simple dance. I think all too often, many of us are so guilty of this. How can we set an example to others regarding the “joys of Christ,” when we walk around in “gloom?”
St. Teresa of Avila spoke also of the “deadly seriousness” of Catholicism in many of her quotes. Being “protected from a gloomy soul,” was one of those quotes. I see this not only in some Catholics (including myself) but in those of different religions also.
I thought about the “Wedding at Cana.” Jesus and the Blessed Mother were at a wedding! A Jewish wedding I am sure. A wedding which we know had wine. Music being played. Toast being made to the bride and groom. People dancing, laughing, and talking together.
Sharing a fun filled day, yet these, I am sure, were very “pious people,” when it came to their religion and faith. After all they were “Jews.”
We must remember, it was at this setting, Jesus “turned the water into wine.”
I think we can “overdo” piety. I think we can “overdo” it so much, that it is actually does more harm to ourselves and others, than good.
I am not saying, “We do not need to be pious.” Of course we do. There are times and moments in our daily lives, we are called to be just “this.”
There are also times we are called to “dance.” To let our “agenda’s” go, for the sake of breathing fresh air. To laugh at a joke. To have a great big ice cream cone once a week, even though we are going to have to eat celery for the rest of it. To have humor in our lives, even in our spiritual lives.
If we do not have balance in our lives with such, I am beginning to see how our “piety becomes a great big glop of vanity.” We are going to miss out on so many things which could actually place a smile on our faces and in our hearts.
We have to be willing to let go of some of the seriousness within us. Most of all, we have to learn to laugh at ourselves.
God is a God of mercy, love, and compassion. All of us have weaknesses, fears, and failures. We cannot be so “pious,” that we let these things consume us to the point of detriment to our souls and the souls of others.
If we are “too busy,” we need to get a little “less busy.” If we walk around daily with “fear” in our heart’s because of a sin or failure, we need to start trusting in the “forgiveness of the Cross.” Most of all:
If we are walking around in nothing but “serious piety” and a “gloomy soul,” we need to let our feet:
“Dance a Jig!”
Our “vain piety” will survive!”
Love and God Bless, SR