I just wanted to formally send you my letter of complaint. I hope you will address this letter personally, and not simply hand it off to one of your celestial bureaucrats. I want to let you know that you are making it very difficult for me to have an unsuccessful pilgrimage.
I was a little tired last night, having taken a train into Rheims from Taize, through Paris. You should remember Rheims. It is that place in France where your bishops ordained something like 39 French kings over the last millennium. There was also an important treaty signed there between the Allies and the Nazis which ended the Second World War. That was in the last century if you’ve forgotten. I know how you like to “forgive and forget,” or whatever it is you do in that Sacrament-of-Reconciliation-thing.
So, I really just wanted to be selfish for once. After finding a hotel to sleep in, I thought I’d go out for a nice dinner and a few drinks. But, I brought my camera along just in case. I found the cathedral here, you know, Notre Dame de Rheims, the one that was hit by bombs in World War II, destroying centuries of priceless art, stained glass windows, and statutes. I wasn’t going to stay to take any pictures because I saw that there was a storm coming in, but for some reason you had to keep the storm at bay, providing excellent cloud formations and twilight shooting conditions. Now why did you have to do that? You know that I’m a sucker for shooting Gothic statutes illuminated by lights at night. All it would have taken is a couple rain drops on my camera to convince me to go back to my hotel room, and give up on shooting. But no! You had to keep the shooting conditions perfect, forcing me to use up all 6 gigabytes of data storage that I had on me. Not you know that I’m short on hard drive space right now. That is 6 gigabytes of data storage that I need! Replacing that data on DVDs kept me up till 2:00 in the morning.
I don’t know if you even have a computer God, but if you do… may I recommend downloading (or is it an upload when the information is going heavenward)… anyway, download Google Earth onto your computer, and then click here if you would like to view the pictures that I took of Notre Dame de Rheims.
So, fine. You get me to stay up much later than I wanted to, when I’m already extremely tired. I thought I’d get back at you by sleeping in, and deciding not to go to Mass today. “I’ll show you,” I thought. But no! You have to have it your way, God. Don’t you! Who do you think you are? The omnipotent sovereign of the universe?
I thought I had missed all the Masses at the church by leaving my hotel at 10:00 AM. Now, you know I can’t just walk away from a Mass when I randomly reach the back nave of the cathedral and Mass starts. And what is worse? It is in Polish. Why would you bring me to a Polish Mass in the middle of France? Did you forget that Poland is two countries away,God? You also know that I don’t speak Polish. If you’re going to make sure that I have the opportunity to go to Mass with you every single day of this pilgrimage, the least you could do is put it in a language I can understand once in a while! And then you have to make the priest an extremely nice man, who does speak some English, and wants to know more about life in Chicago. It really makes me feel welcome and loved when you do that, God. It is completely unfair.
So I’ve had it, God! I’m done being done with the pilgrimage. I’m giving up giving up, because even when I do, you still bring me to exquisite cathedrals that epitomize the Gothic style of architecture, bring me into contact with the amazing diversity of your people in the church, and still tell me that you love me. It is getting to the point that I can’t compete with you. So fine! I’ll do things your way, whether I like it or not!
(and sometimes facetious) pilgrim,