Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Theology and Massage


Yesterday I went to my favorite masseuse because of painfully tight muscles in my neck and shoulder. She's really a hoot--the descendant of a long line of Swedish masseuses. She even has pictures of her grandmother's class graduating from massage school back in the old country in her treatment room. I'll call her Freda.

I always enjoy talking with Freda. She loves to opine on the local sports teams and political matters. She's very very conservative in her views. Yesterday when she asked me where I worked (always a difficult thing to explain to nonPresbies, and sometimes even to Presbies), she started to talk about her own religious background.

It seems Freda is a lapsed Catholic. Every 15 years or so she tries going to mass again, gets ticked off by the priest's homily, and re-lapses. She said that if churches only preached what Jesus said, and left out Paul, then they would disappear because the church is more concerned with rules than love. She's not a fan of Paul and thinks he hated women.

Ahem. That gave me the opportunity to share with her the fact that Paul had several women colleagues that he valued highly--as revealed in his letters and in Acts. Freda was surprised, and then said that growing up in Catholic schools they did not study scripture--and her theory is that was because scripture would contradict some of the teaching of the church.

Freda wanted to know if Presbyterians had women ministers, and then asked a lot of questions about how my church was governed. She was impressed that decisions weren't made solely by the clergy, but equally with the laity. At the end of the day, though, Freda says "once a Catholic, always a Catholic." There's that loyalty again that I noted in my post Church Without Walls.

And the neck and shoulder pain--much better already. Thanks, Freda!

9 comments:

Presbyterian Gal said...

Well, at least you've planted the seed.

Yay for relaxed muscles!

SpookyRach said...

What PG said!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jody,

I must "discuss" with Freda as I was once a Catholic....got rid of the guilt.....and not now a Catholic but Presbyterian. Oh boy, could bend Ms. Fredas ear.
Hope to see ya at choir rehearsal tonight.

Former Catholic now a broken free of Catholic guilt Presbyterian. Whoopee!

Your fellow soprano,

Christine :o)

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Wow! I bet she enjoyed you as much and you enjoyed her!

hip2B said...

My mom said something about communion once saying "her church didn't allow that". But I doubt she's taken communion in 20 years.
Theres loyalty, even if there's no participation.

Reformed Catholic said...

I second what Christine said ... you can leave that guilt behind and realize that everything the RC church said was not the 'Gospel' truth.

mompriest said...

sigh...

Still, a seed has been planted, so one never knows...

and, woohoo for massage therapists...and massages.

Sally said...

I love conversations like that, who knows where it will go next time...glad that you are feeling better too.

Kievas said...

From a former Catholic...her "loyalty" in staying away is probably not a lot different from those who attend faithfully out of a sense of obligation. I've been in both camps :)