Written by Kathleen Lundquist
Tired of the liturgy wars, conflict over Catholic cultural markers, and the continuing quarrel over "the spirit of Vatican II"? I invite you to go with me and the lovely Anastasia down the rabbit hole into the story of Anastasia in Ecclesialand. This brilliant fantasy is the perfect spiritual bedtime story for those of us (intentionally Catholic) children who've come home from school exhausted from parsing teachers' sentences, struggling to impress our friends, and fighting with our siblings while the butler and governess ignore us. Here's a sampling:
Anastasia walked away. She walked on until she found two people loading a wagon. At least, that had been the original idea, but they were going about it in a crazy manner. One of them would load a box and the other would move that box to another position, throwing the load completely off balance and knocking another box off the wagon. They were both dressed in elaborate costumes, one wearing bib overalls and a shapeless red cap and the other dressed in an expensive business suit which he had to keep brushing off.
When they noticed Anastasia, the one in overalls stopped to say, "It's his fault you know. He is going about this all fifteenth-century-ish."
"Modernist!" cried the one in the suit, flinging a box off the top. "How, oh how, shall we ever get this wagon on the pilgrimage?"
Anastasia noticed she still had in her hands the book from the library. On the cover, it said, "READ ME." She opened it to an illustration of the wagon perfectly loaded, with full instructions on how to load it.
"Would this help?" she asked, offering the book.
"My dear, that book is positively twelfth-century-ish" cried the one in overalls.
"That book is full of modernisms," said the one in the suit.
They kept up until Anastasia saw the bird fly out from under the wagon and onward down the path. As she followed it, she noted the sign on the side of the wagon: "LITURGY MOVERS-LET US MOVE YOU IN CIRCLES."
It's a brilliant piece by Martin Fontenot, originally published in the July/August 1996 issue of This Rock magazine. It sure gave a good rest, and much-needed perspective, to this child's tuckered-out heart and mind. Enjoy.