My mom gave me a book to read recently. Lately, I’ve been delving quite heavily into theology and history and I was looking for an easy fiction book for a nice change of pace. This book is supposed to be based on the book of Hosea, about a prostitute loved by a man that takes her back despite her infidelity. So what do I find? In the first few chapters of this novel, we are introduced to a nice Catholic harlot who regularly shacks up with her married lover. This woman refuses to abort her child because “it’s a mortal sin.” Lovely that the author failed to notice adultery is a mortal sin as well. Let’s forget that for a moment. This Catholic woman is abandoned by her lover, and turned away by her puritanical Catholic parents, rosary in hand the entire time. The mother dies, and her eight year old daughter chucks her rosary in the garbage before she’s sold into prostitution, with musings of purgatory and Cyprian the whole way down the line.
Do I have the stomach for a book that insinuates the Catholic Church is unfaithful, like the prostitute, rescued by the Protestant man who “seeks his Father’s heart in everything”. My mom isn’t a vicious woman. I can only think she doesn’t get it, but it hurts that she recommends this book so highly. I’m looking to join a body that is hated and slandered. I will be hated and slandered with it, and hurt by every attack and misunderstanding that is flippantly thrown her way.
It’s appropriate, isn’t it? Considering the approaching days. I can remember watching The Passion in the theater for the first time. The reel broke part way through, and the entire theater was silent for ten minutes while it was fixed. My family thought it was very well done, portraying Christ’s passion and death so personally and emotionally, for a Catholic. Every Easter, we will watch it again. Every time, I will wonder how people can have been so cruel to our beloved Master. I will never understand it, but I will readily join Him as He calls me.