At one point in my peregrinations, I drove from Bozeman to Kalispell. The radio stations offered three choices: Country and Western, Christian, and Christian Country and Western. I listened to each as long as I could stand it: Rollin in my Sweet Baby’s Arms (when does the mail train come back?), Yes We’ll Gather by the River, and Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goal Posts of Life. There was also a translation of In Himmel Gibt’s Kein Bier: In Heaven There is No Beer, which seems to have been a fusion piece. 

The Catholic churches in Montana towns are largely afflicted with the musical schlock that has become mainstream Catholic fare. I dislike it, because trivial, sentimental, and narcissistic music is inappropriate for the Divine Liturgy and also tends to keep men away. But at one church I was reminded that such schlock coexists with profound Christianity: the prayer of the faithful was for those suffering fatal diseases, for those afflicted by war, for those who have no one to pray for them, for the forgotten dead. 

Every day I think of my ancestors and descendants, going back to Adam and forward to the end of the world, and I pray that none of them may be lost. Some Christians (like Augustine) seem to want to view salvation as restricted to a small group of the Elect; I know from Scripture that God loves all that He has made and I have hope in His mysterious plans, although no human eye can penetrate them.

Leave a Comment