Pope Benedict XVI retired and the postmodern world of goofiness was given an unusual gift.
The Pope (or one of his aides, I suspect) twitted in Latin while he was cruising to his very cool villa in a helicopter.
I watched the coverage partly because I enjoy the merging of ritual and ceremony dating back to late antiquity and medieval times and today’s world of TV and Twitter.
When the Pope issued a Twitter message in Latin it made my day. Latin is the coolest sounding language to my ear for some reason. I remember hearing the mass in Latin with my aunt and grandma who were Polish Catholics.
My Aunt Nell lived in Seattle and I recall going to a large, gray, stone structure somewhere in a Dante place hearing lots of Latin. For some reason all I remember of the mass is the stone structure and Latin.
I know some folks are offended by the ritual, but I love it. I love the rhythm of Latin and I guess it reminds me of Aunt Nell and Grandma.
It is interesting how memories work as we get older. I remember Aunt Nell when I hear a Catholic Latin. She drove a 1955 Buick Century. It was something of a luxury car for her and Uncle Elmer. After Uncle Elmer died she moved to Enumclaw near my grandma, her sister, in the new development in town, Clovercrest. I can see her driving that two-tone green Buick with automatic cruise control as clearly today as when I was 10. She had a little white statue of Jesus on the dash. That was very cool car.
My other memory of Aunt Nell was her cooking. All the Polish women I knew, including Grandma, where gifted cooks. Aunt Nell was considered to also be fancy.
She made me a cake for my birthday once that was green and in the shape of an elephant. I don’t remember how it tasted. I think my brothers probably ate all of it before I could get to it – a problem that comes with being the youngest. (Of course now we are getting old and I am still the youngest, but they look better than I do – how is that fair?)
I don’t remember how it tasted, but I see it right now on that platter with coconut sprinkles and green frosting.
Amazing what a Latin Tweet can bring back.
Imagine what Charlemagne could have done with Twitter. We would probably be part of the Holy Roman Empire today.