Dreams of the Cross-bearer

This morning, I woke up angry at a figment of my imagination.

As I slept, my sub-conscious turned towards the Carthusians, daily mass, and some idiot that had no clue what he was doing. In all honesty, it could have been the Dominicans (as I've attended their daily mass), however last night I'd spent some time reading about the Grand Chartreuse, and it's only on rare occasions that I've seen a Dominican actually wear the habit with the hood up.

I found myself at the rear of a small chapel, while the indistinguishable religious community stood before me, wearing pointy hoods like the Dink Dinks from the movie Spaceballs. As service continued, I noticed a glutton - some overweight, unshaven, unclean brother with stains all over his habit. He stuck out like a sore thumb, sitting unhooded as the rest of the community stood poised and solemn. No one seemed to notice how malapropos his presence was, despite his unkempt appearance.

One of the celebrants bent down to whisper something into the glutton's ear, and the brother stood. "Good," I thought. "Tell that slacker to clean up his act." Yet as he stood, I realized they hadn't scolded him...they'd involved him in part of the service!

Chanting began, and I realized that the service was at an end. They'd elected this slob to be the cross-bearer; he walked in front of the alter (without genuflecting!), pulled the processional cross out of it's base, and lead the community out of the chapel. I was ethereally speechless.

As they entered the vestibule, I saw that the ill-chosen cross-bearer was carrying the cross too high: it was going to hit the top of the archway! I quickly warned one of the brothers who calmly told the cross-bearer to lower the cross, narrowly avoiding a Catholic faux pas.
After entering the vestibule, the disheveled brother continued to walk, while the rest of the procession had stopped. Again, another brother had to get his attention as a bishop was standing to the side, bestowing a blessing unto the community. I felt confused that someone who couldn't understand the basics of Catholic etiquette was leading the procession. What does that say about the Order? About this community? I was dumb-founded!

I can't recall the rest of the dream, but I woke up rather annoyed. Here I was, doing my best to be a "good Catholic" when someone that fouled up was already accepted, vowed, and possibly ordained into a religious order.

There's a number of interpretations that I could make: it was me that was the cross-bearer, I have a deep connection to community life, I need to get off the Internet sooner before I go to bed. But I think the personal revelation that stands out most to me:

...you get the idea.

P.S. May the Schwartz be with you.

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