Sunday, April 5, 2009

59. St. Thomas More (may be CLOSING in August 2015)

Address: 65 E. 89th St.
Phone: 212.876.7718
Weekend Mass Times: Sat: 5:45pm; Sun: 8:30am, 10am (Family Mass), 11:15am, 12:30pm, 5:45pm
Weekday Mass Times: M-F: 7am, 8am, 12:15pm; Sat: 8am, 12:15pm
Confession: M-F: 12pm, 5:30pm; Sat: 4:30pm

About the Organ
Yelp Review
St. Thomas More
St. Thomas More (Catholic Encyclopedia)
St. Thomas More (Wikipedia)

PALM SUNDAY

I need a drink.

Easter nears and I reflect on my small sacrifices of the past 40 days. Taking a page from old school Catholicism I decided to forego meat not just on Fridays but everyday. All in all it wasn't that difficult. Giving up the booze proved easier this year as well. Over time, though, I realized I had many vices, and had just exchanged some for others, so eventually I gave up other things as well: coffee, sweets and other substances. Now, with tea as my only daily stimulant, I wander the city in a fuzzy haze, feeling somewhat calmer (though recent altercations with my girlfriend show otherwise) and heading toward some kind of celebration this Easter Sunday.

A few things I've taken away from this Lenten experience:

Number one: Though many will argue that sacrifice during Lent is empty and meaningless as it offers nothing to the needy or for the good of the world, and that one should do something positive for others as opposed to denying themselves trivialities, I realize that each day I awake, pacing through Lent, desiring one of these things I've given up, I am reminded of the sacrifices of the Son and the Father for our sakes, and though my own sacrifice is petty and small in comparison, it is a reminder of all that has been done for me, for us. Further, upon finally arriving at Easter, the importance of the day and the meaning behind the resurrection of the Lord and the new life given to me, to all of us, is all the more enhanced by my own personal joy in these worldly celebrations. Last year I encountered Easter as the beginning of a new kind of year and a new life, and I will do the same this year in a few days.

Number two: Self-denial is good.

Number three: Lady Grey Tea is awesome.

The church of St. Thomas More was a wonderful place to find myself celebrating this Palm Sunday (though my head felt fuzzy and unclear, perhaps because I was without coffee to focus me in the morning.) The church itself is somewhat small and cozy and seems to come right out of the pages of times. I believe it was first built in the 19th century as an Episcopalian church and later in the 1950's was acquired, consecrated and renovated as a Catholic Church.

I attended the 12:30pm mass among a mix of folks, many ages - many older folks seeming to struggle with the steep concrete stairs outside the building on their way home. I myself left, still in my fog, and headed to the Guggenheim (right down the street,) and on into the world away from the calm of the little church, headed towards this new year of Easter upon us, a time for new life and new beginnings.

Happy Easter, folks.

*I would just like to add a quick note here about my intense admiration for the man, the saint, Thomas More. Ever since a school teacher played the movie A Man For All Seasons for us and explained his tale I have liked St. Thomas More. His devotion not only to God and a higher morality but to the sanctity and sacredness of marriage is some kind of lesson that has just seemed to stick with me over the years and one I hope to carry with me forever on into my own (hopefully growing ever more moral) life as well as into the future and possibilities of my own marriage.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew,
    I stumbled upon your interesting dialogue with yourself - whilst searching for pictures of the church where my friend just became Director of Music - and enjoyed reading it. I wonder if you did marry and hope that your quest has taken you even farther along the noble road of honest self-discovery and mastery in the shadow of the Divine. As a fellow traveler and lover of all things "Thomas More" I was moved to comment and wish you well. tomboysuze

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