Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What Would Jesus Buy?

Please forgive me. It is Advent and here in the USA we are bombarded by temptations to buy, buy more, buy even more, buy even yet still more. I get antsy. There are so many hungry, naked, sick, uncared for people in this world and we Americans are so heavily encouraged to ignore them and prove to our wives that we love her by giving her diamonds and prove our love to our children by purchasing every new toy, that I just get queasy. Was reading chap 56 of the Rule of St. Benedict ( )and reflecting on how the medieval and later abbots abused the porivileges of that chapter. The excesses of medieval abbots at table remind me of the excesses in the USA during Advent.

It's not easy to even recognize them. Just the other day I went to J C Penny's to pick up the new robe I had ordered before Thanksgiving. It's for mom for Christmas. It has been my habit for a number of years to fast from shopping during Advent. It's my own private protest against the commercialization of this holy season. Except for food, medical needs and gas for the car, I buy nothing.

There I was picking up the robe. As I turned to leave I spied with my little eye a display of those roll up piano keyboards and I instantly recognized it as Just The Thing to aid me in chanting the Psalms and Canticles. I am incapable of singing a capella
and have been trying to think how I could have some sort of accompaniment so that I don't assault my own ears with my flat and sharp notes. Particularly the sharps. Oy gevalt. This gizmo costs only $50 and if I happened to have the money, I would have bought it without a second's thought. I avoided that temptation to impulse spend only because my wallet is empty. I don't use credit cards, haven't for 20 or so years.

Why do I call it a temptation when it is Just the Thing and I oh so obviously would put it to a holy use? First of all, it would not have been a prayerful purpose. It would been a knee jerk one. It also would not have been a researched purchase. After all, I do not know how to play the piano. Who could give me lessons (for free) that would allow me to play chant on my keyboard? And then of course, surely I would want to learn to play hymns. The roll up keyboard is indeed Just The Thing, But am I ready to utilize the purchase even if I save up money to purchase it? For that matter, I'd also have to research if it was a good price or not. And then there are all the considerations of which features do I need? Well, all I would want is for it to sound like a piano. But could I even find one just that simple? Betcha one that simple is more expensive than the fancy dancy one I saw in J C Penny's which can apparently imitate all sorts of sounds.


  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger Gus said…

    We, too, are at a stage where we can't indulge Just The Thing. I can't say I'm sorry, either, most of the time. I'll see Just The Thing again a few days later and think that not getting it was the right thing to do.


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