Theological Notebook: Thomas F. O'Meara in the Classroom
Along with reading Tom O'Meara in book form the last few weeks, as I've mentioned earlier, I also recalled having stashed this list of quotations in an earlier Mac of mine. O'Meara, having a droll, deadpan kind of Irish wit, would say the mostly hilariously random things in class. Hilarious, at least, in a theological context: some of these being "in jokes" of a Catholic sort, while others played with the sorts of silly things thought about religion at a popular level. Another student after me had posted some of these on an early internet O'Meara "fan" page and I had copied that down. Tom Patamia and I would laugh at some of these lines and have the great good sense to write them down in the margins of our books or notes, and so I added them to the list.
The Best of Thomas F. O’Meara Quotations:
Most people think that all the ancients wore drapes and hung out together. Socrates, George Washington, Augustine and Aquinas all ate lunch at the same restaurant.
Crazy house theology: “My grandma was a perfect Christian, but she accidentally ate chicken noodle soup on Ash Wednesday and got hit by a semi.”
The human personality is very complex. A serial killer goes to a bar, and someone offers him a drink. He replies, “No, I don't drink. Not even cooking sherry. Now excuse me – I have to go do something.”
I can go to the Grotto 15 times tonight, but I’ll still flunk this exam if I don’t study.
Christianity is not a freak show.
Jesus didn't go around saying, “You want triplets?” *snap* “They’re coming!”
Wouldn’t it be great if the Pope had a cat that could recite the Gospel of Matthew?
Bees are made to be bees, not do anything religious – except maybe for making wax for the paschal candle.
People think that sins are sins because God has them on a list, as if God could simply change the sixth commandment to “Thou shalt not play the bassoon.”
Have you ever heard of any Lutherans in the Mediterranean?
Who’s ever written a 25-volume encyclopedia south of Jacksonville, Florida? That’s something you do in Denmark.
Jesuits are Christians, right?
The Baroque understanding of grace: If you happen to be a cripple, get with the program.
On a Rembrandt painting of Simeon, Mary, and the baby Jesus: If this were done by Rubens or Fra Angelico, he’d be telling her something about the hypostatic union.
The baby [Jesus] isn’t divine when he’s spitting up.
The Rococo is the Baroque gone wild.
There’s no wrong answer. [Wrong answer offered. Interested:] Do you really think so?!
On an imposing Gothic church’s unsuitability for parish life: What are you going to do? Tell the youth group to meet by the third pillar?
On a Rembrandt painting of the descent from the cross, where Mary is faint: It’s pretty hard to be the co-redemptrix when you’re unconscious.
Contrasting with the Fra Angelico descent from the cross: It looks like a garden party! “Wear your best clothes, and we’ll be taking Jesus down from the cross at 3:30.”
I don’t care what holy medal or statue you’ve got stuck on your dashboard; it’s bad theology to believe that it’s gonna keep your car on the road after you’ve spent the evening drinking in a local bar.
What do you do if a mouse eats some consecrated host? Put vestments on a cat....
I think we can safely say that Don Corleone said “No” to friendship with Jesus.
Talking about the Baroque Period: They didn’t have baseball cards and video games, so they thought up more and more kinds of sins.
Two things I hate: Piety and the Will of God.
It’s better to love someone than to slit their throat.