Seth’s Pilgrimage Across America: The Lone Star State, Blog # 4
Straight forward spiritual reflection, no academia here.
One area of living the Christian life that I have not dug deep into is evil spirits and the devil. For good reason probably, for it is an agonizing subject matter really. After all who wants to learn more about the fallen angel and the preceding ramifications for history? No desirable action in my mind. So here we go with real experience in that fallen angel’s path, no text book here.
The devil is real. The most anticipated stop of the trip, New Orleans. Unbeknown prior to the trip, the largest celebration of the year was about to kick off upon my arrival, Super Bowl victory plus Mardi Gras, an interesting welcome for a traveler, so I thought. However, quicker than expected, the jubilant expectation for the Crescent City went awry.
You see, the city of New Orleans is quartered off quite distinctly. Different neighborhoods dominate certain sections of the city: The Garden District, The French Quarter, Uptown, etc. Thanks be to His grace, my resting places were outside the heart of the Devil’s nesting ground.
The French Quarter. What an incredible hotbed of history, the architecture bleeds it from the cobble stone streets to the parapets above. But no magnificence of sight could hold off what I am calling the evil spirits of group-think-sin. So sad to see it play out right before your eyes. I left Mass from St. Louis Cathedral a couple Sundays back, and what greets these eyes? First, Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond giving a sincere hello and where are you from to the hundreds of attendees at Mass. And then, raising ones eyes behind his eminence, one quickly finds a couple dozen tarot card readers and fundamentalists condemning Roman Catholics to Hell. Banners, signs, megaphones, everything you would expect at a boycott. Not only were we Catholics being condemned to hell as we exited St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter, no less than three blocks away was the devil’s own workshop, Bourbon Street. Not even going to dive into those details.
As already mentioned, the anticipation to experience one of, if not the most Catholic city in the country, had grown and grown since Florida. And upon arrival, just being amidst the sin of the French Quarter utterly and completely drained any excitement for interviews and or personal exploration of this once holy section of the city. Not one interview came from New Orleans, not one! The immersion into Mardi Gras’ 1% madness was enough to bring down any hopeful joy for my presence in it. I had to get out, and quick.
* * * What must be stated is that Mardi Gras is 90% good, 10% bad. Honestly, what you see on TV is not Mardi Gras. What you see on TV is drunken tourists young and old (saddest part), not even locals from what I could tell. Explaining how this could be would take too long here, just know that 10% is rooted in sad sin, and the other 90 is parades, festivals, and balls–not drunkenness on Bourbon Street.* * *
Leaving the city was like exiting the principal’s office. You know your innocence, but just the presence their could rip your heart out of your throat. Crossing the Mississippi was like passing through the Red Sea to safety.