Today we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and while this is indeed a somber and serious occasion, My mind instead immediately went somewhere else completely. Inexpensive has become cheap in the modern age, and religious devotionals have clearly found the mass market industrial production teams hard at work supplying all of our needs.
Is this sacrilegious? It is okay for us to keep collecting all these religious bits and baubles?I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few pieces of a nativity set I got at the dollar store over ten years ago, and I just somehow feel it’s wrong to throw it away. I am getting to the point where I have boxes full of this stuff.
I know you feel the same, because I keep getting these boxes of “donations” showing up at my doorstep. Parishioners don’t know what to do with it all, monthly I get an envelope full of necklaces and pin people have received in the mail and they just can’t throw them away because the have a picture of St. Anthony on them. So they give them to me.
I have piles of them., really, piles. I try to pawn them off on students, on young people, on anyone who will take them. But here’s the thing.
I can’t seem to throw them away either.
So it grows. I have so many cheap plastic crucifixes that I think they are multiplying. I have piles of plastic glow in the dark rosaries. I have bags of mini scapulars and religious medals. It’s just silly.
And that doesn’t even begin to talk about the holy cards. Piles of holy cards. Hoards of holy cards. I have a stack in my classroom, hundreds, maybe thousands for students to use as bookmarks. The pile never seems to shrink, it’s a modern day miracle.
I know I have to be ready to just throw these things away. They aren’t particularly nice, they aren’t really leading people to God, and they aren’t articles of devotion. They are cheaply made trinkets, and I need to let go of my connection to them just because they have a picture of the Lord on them.
Maybe I’ll bury them instead.
Alright, so this is probably not the best reflection on this holy day, but that’s what I got.