Monday, May 26, 2008

Corpus Christi & Memorial Day

"Vengeance on the nations" related to the Corpus Christi procession I participated in yesterday.

I had the privelege of leading the Divine Mercy chaplet while we were walking up the hill from the Science Museum to the St. Paul Cathedral. The annual Archdiocesan procession is a beautiful public testament to the faith. Archbishop Nienstedt gave a wonderful talk and said twice that Corpus Christi should not be celebrated without a procession. (Hats off to Fr. Z for this photo I stole from his blog.)

I said yesterday that actions we perform individually and together that are prayerful works of mercy and charity constitute "vengeance on the nations." This is because we are proclaiming a higher authority than mere civil or national power. We are proclaiming Christ as King of the Universe! Despite all appearances to the contrary, we have the best handle on the actual reality of the situation. The powers that seem in charge right now are only temporary. Christ will reign for all eternity. Any unjust governments who rule us now will blow away like dust in the wind.

Even the just governments will fade away. Is the USA just or unjust? In spite of a lot of mistakes the US government has made over the years(many of them acknowledged), I think the freedom we experience here makes justice possible for the greatest number most of the time. That's why I celebrate Memorial Day as well as Corpus Christi.

For Memorial Day today, I took my family over to Glenhaven here in Crystal, where the McReavy family has organized a fabulous tribute to our war vets, living and dead. Last year I attended the dedication of the largest privately funded War memorial in the state of Minnesota--right here at Glenhaven. Both last year and this year the program included:
  • Dorothy Benham (Former Miss America) singing patriotic songs
  • Minnesota Brassworks
  • current and past military heroes speaking and being honored
  • 21-gun salute
  • dove release
  • crowd reciting Pledge of allegiance to the flag and singing patriotic songs
  • Christian prayers for justice in our country and for all warriors living and dead

Before last year I have rarely done anything with my family to recognize Memorial Day. Last year I put my foot down and insisted that we all go and honor the warriors. In spite of much resistance, I think everyone was glad that we went, especially since we went to Coldstone for ice cream afterwards. But my reasons for insisting my family do something to honor our war dead were based on this excellent article by Jody Bottum in First Things. He says that "we create true communities only when we have shared dead."

Some may wonder at my good will toward the US given the injustice they have perpetrated on my ancestors the Ho-Chunks (or Winnebagos as most non-Indians call us). Well, my people have a long history of honoring our warriors. In the last one hundred years all of those warriors have fought for your freedom and mine in wars involving the US against foreign powers. We have been on the same side for some time now. It just feels natural and right for me to honor all of my people comrades in those wars.


Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Boojoo Wozhinazhinga!

Native Americans take honoring warriors very seriously. I spent the weekend on the Leech Lake Reservation where they had a 3-day pow-wow. One of those highly honored in the Grand Entrance was a young member of the Band who was killed in Iraq.

I'm glad you went to a Memorial weekend service as well as the Corpus Christi procession. I really missed the procession, I had no idea how much until I did not have one to go to near me.

I think Natives have a sense of being a part of Our Country, yet, sometimes, they feel apart from it. Sometimes, I think we set ourselves apart. Other times we are pushed away. I could do a whole post on that. Maybe I will someday.

Welcome back! I hope you can find more time to post. I'd really enjoy reading some of your thoughts on chant. Do you see a connection between chant in the Church and chant in a drum circle? Just curious. It's something I've been pondering lately.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Geometricus said...

Boojoo, Cathy! For years I have participated in the Native American Church when my brothers ask me to. Mostly at funerals, but this last Feb. I was fireman at a Lenten devotional service. I actully took my turn singing with the drum for the first time. It was harder than any Latin chant I have ever performed, mainly because with Church chant I always am looking at a printed page. In the NAC I am listening, listening, trying to imitate. I understand more Latin than I do Ho-Chunk. I think if I tried harder to use Ho-Chunk in my daily life it would be easier. But without the experience of Gregorian, I don't think I would have the courage to even try to sing those NAC songs.

8:56 AM  

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