I am taking a risk in sharing here some of my original thoughts. I do so to encourage many of you who have writing skill (and I make no claim to such) to submit your work to me for posting. If you feel so inspired, send it to my email address listed in the contacts. Rosemary encouraged me to no end to post my stuff. I miss her keen eye for editing. I now rely on my sister to be my editor. The piece listed below is more whimsical than thought-provoking. I had a good time writing it……Reyanna
By Reyanna Rice, April 20, 2014
Over the last year, I have closely studied the actions of Papa Francesco, read as much of his writings as I could find and read the primary biographies written about him. He admitted in his interview with the Jesuit journals last fall that he enjoyed and danced Tango as a young man, up until he entered the seminary. Apparently, he continues to listen to this music as he works at his desk. And I read reports that shortly after his installation ceremony as pope, he and a group of fellow Argentines, got together somewhere in the Vatican and had a Tango party. What an intriguing visual filled with contrasts that sets up in my mind!! Not knowing much about Tango, after I read the Jesuit interview, I started listening to this genre of music. It is wonderful in its passionate, driving rhythms. I find that I can’t help but want to move my feet and body to its rhythms. That Francis continues to enjoy this music of his homeland shows it has a deep place in his spirit. It shows a glimpse into Francis inner self, a man who probably has a passionate spirit and moves to deep rhythms filled with vibrant life. It seems almost, as I watch how he is going about trying to change the atrophied, stiff, and up-tight demeanor of Mater Ecclesia, it is like he is trying to teach her how to Tango. I think he is trying to gently coax the church into dancing to a music, that at one period in her history, was condemned as “immoral dancing”, i.e. dirty dancing to us using modern lingo. He is trying to show her, both in word and action, it is not immoral to dance to the delightful music of the “Tango” of Jesus. In fact, I would say he thinks it is imperative that she does dance to this music. Francis is gentle in his approach to the lady in question, as any gentleman would be. Remember, we are the church, and he displayed this gentlemanliness to us when bowed and asked us for our blessing (our permission) as he stepped out onto the loggia in our first glimpses of introduction to him. It will take skill to coax Mother Church into this dance. I see him displaying this skill as a patient teacher working with her, both in his examples and in his teachings. He is attentive to her, listening to her cries of protest, yet remaining insistent that she can do it. In the last many years she has displayed that she has “two left feet” many times in the actions and directions she has taken. At times in her history she has displayed that she is more than capable to dance this kind of dance, Vatican II being the foremost example. Recent years have been ones of increasingly stubborn refusal to take even the first step on the dance floor of current reality. It will take some real skill to overcome this stubbornness in her. Holy Mother has not been the most pleasant of gals in recent history. In fact, it seems many think of her in very unflattering terms best not noted with any definiteness here. Watching YouTube clips of Tango (or Milonga, Francis’ most favorite variation of Tango) it is very evident it takes skilled partners, moving in rhythm to the music in every increasing intricate steps and in close contact. It is a very energetic and passionate way to dance. Tango and Milonga come from the folk history of Argentina and greater South America. It is the music of the people, probably the poor people. They understand passion and the rhythms of life probably far better than any of us first world folk. If he is indeed, responding to the spiritual Tango in his blood to get her to dance to his favorite music, it is an intriguing metaphor for the church he is setting up: passionate, caring, learning to step again in intimacy to the rhythm of Jesus, her original Lord of the Dance but maybe with some updated musical instrumentation and scores. The modern Tango melodies I have been listening to are full throttle and very lively with very driving beats. Can Holy Mother Church become an attractive partner in this dance? We’ll find out!! Jorge loves to Tango!