Being a professional jokester, April Fools’ is my only day off. We in the profession leave that day to the amateurs and let them have their fun.
Besides all the Holy Days, holidays and seasons that elicit memories of TQ, April Fools’ Day also brings forth reverie about him. Not that he did anything special on that day, but TQ’s sense of humor shaped everything he did and he always made himself the butt of his own jokes.
As I continue unwrapping the gift of this documentary TQ gave me, on the one hand I am blessed with the kindness and support of those who loved TQ and on the other hand I get to experience (on a much smaller scale) the rejection, alienation and scorn he experienced.
I am spending a lot of time working on the marketing and advertising for the upcoming (15 May hint, hint) (At the Naro Expanded Cinema hint, hint) world premiere of “The Trouble with TQ.” Part of the marketing involves trying to get some blurbs in the bulletins of Tidewater Parishes, especially the ones where TQ served.
This morning, the PR person mentioned in passing, “I can tell you from my conversations with churches and people attached to diocese, there is an apprehension/reluctance regarding TQ...It is very interesting.” Wow. I think it is a testament to the impact of a man who, nine years after being forcibly retired and stripped of his faculties, still elicits resentment, apprehension and FEAR.
TQ said, “I’ve always loved the people who hated me.” He explained that what he admired about them was the fact that they stood up for something. During this Lenten season, the lesson for me is that I must love them too and for the same reason.
Which brings us back to April Fools’ Day. As Pope Francis’ popularity continues to expand, I think if you compare reaction what TQ proposed 40 plus years ago such as the need to use our resources to help those with less (BOO!), with Pope Francis’ admonition of our obligation to the less fortunate (YAY!), or the reaction to TQ’s promotion of Liturgical Renewal (BOO!) and current reaction to the Pope’s call for renewal (YAY!); you can hear TQ in the background, creaking, “April Fool!”
I have rambled on long enough. I will leave you one more TQ quote I am pondering over Lent:
“I don’t mind getting in trouble, for the right reason. It doesn’t bother me one bit.”