When I was growing up, holy cards were a big thing. Perhaps they still are. In any case, in my day they were often rather sentimental depictions of the Sacred Heart, or Virgin Mary, or the Crucifixion, with figures whose eyes were invariably cast to the heavens. They were meant, obviously, to inspire us, and my missal (prayer book used for the Mass, for the uninitiated) were stuffed with them with messages from family and friends on the back.
I was reminded of this early tradition looking at the bulletin board in my study. It’s a miscellaneous collection of things to do, lists to remember, and just things that — err, like the old holy cards were supposed to do — just lift my spirits.
The biggest piece of paper is a twin list of US and UK words to represent the letters of the alphabet. Eg: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta. I have the list because as someone with slight lisp and five S’s in my name and four more in my address, I often need it. I always used to say “S as in Sugar” until a smart alec responded with “Is that F as in Fugar?” Well, I think he said “Fugar,” but he may have used a more familiar word that sounds quite similar. Anyway, I said, “No, S as in Sassy.” We’ve been good friends ever since.
But I do now say “S as in Sierra” instead of Sugar.
As for my replacement holy cards, this is my current display:
- E = mc2
- Love is hard enough. But it is also enough.
- When life is very bad, two things make life worth living – Mozart and quantum mechanics.
- If at first the idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.
- By their fruits you will know them.
I will refrain from adding my homily that goes with each of the above. I couldn’t improve on them anyway.