My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

When I was a high school student I was involved with a contemporary play by Samuel Beckett called “Waiting for Godot” which was about two men who are waiting and waiting and waiting for this important person called Godot to arrive.  They speak about Godot, interact with a couple of strange characters and spend much of their conversation imagining who Godot is and how his arrival would affect them.  The dialogue gets more and more surreal as the play goes on as they begin to doubt if Godot will ever show up – yet their faith in Godot, which the audience recognizes to be insane after a while, ultimately does not waver even if the audience sees them as chumps.

Caution: Spoiler Alert! Godot never arrives.  The point of the play is that existence is pointless, that we are all like Vladimir and Estragon and that reality is merely, as Beckett put it: “...a game, everything is a game… It is a game in order to survive.”  It is clear that the games the characters play with each other that make up the bulk of the show are mere diversions done to occupy time and divert their attention to the hopelessness of their situation.  Had they not engaged in these stupid games they would have to confront the meaningless of their condition, and as the quote from Beckett clearly implies, then they would be unable to survive – they would then either go mad or they would commit suicide.  (Albert Camus, another Twentieth Century existentialist writer, pointed out that the decision whether or not one should commit suicide is the first and most important question in life.  Beckett’s play shows that in a meaningless universe one needs to be distracted in order not to answer that question in the affirmative.)

To the atheist, life indeed is like Beckett’s play – pointless and absurd.  It is merely a game, nothing more.  Beckett says that we, as the audience in his play does, should recognize the game and we should view those who do not as pitiful fools. This is indeed how atheists view us Christians.  We who are waiting, for Jesus, as we do during Advent, are merely real life Vladimirs and Estragons, nothing more.  We are just as silly and pitiful as these characters.  We do not realize that the universe is bleak and without meaning, as these characters are unwilling to see that too.

But there is a critical – THE critical – difference between our lives and that of Beckett’s characters and that is because, unlike Godot, Christ did come.  He did make Himself known and He did transform the life of the world and reality has been redeemed.  It is not is not absurd; it is imbued with meaning.  If Vladimir and Estragon had been waiting for the Christ child their wait would have been rewarded. 

I remember thinking as I worked on the play how grateful that my outlook was not that of Beckett.  I remember wondering why anyone would choose to view life in such a dismal way when the light of the world is there for all of us to embrace and be saved.    I still have the same questions.  Atheism never made sense as a way to order one’s life when the Truth was so much better on a variety of levels.  It is not the naïve faith of Vladimir and Estragon, ours is a faith grounded in a profound knowledge of our Lord and Savior in the depths of our being.

So let us look at this period of preparation of Advent not as a pointless exercise because we are not waiting for Godot.  Instead we are waiting for God to come to Earth in the guise of a helpless baby and in doing so He has made our lives not a moronic game but a sacred journey to salvation.


Under the Mercy,

Father James +

 

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Service Times

Sundays

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Low Mass
9:00 a.m. Adult Christian Education*
10:00 a.m. Solemn Mass
11:30 a.m. Coffee Hour

* during the academic year

Weekdays

Low Mass
Wednesday 10 a.m. *
Friday 7 a.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.

* followed by coffee hour

 

Location and Parking

209 Ashmont Street
Dorchester MA 02124
(617) 436-6370

Map

All Saints is located in the south Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, just off Peabody Square, at 209 Ashmont St. and is a very short walk from the Ashmont T station on the Red Line. (Click icon for map.)

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The five principal levels of our buildings are handicap accessible, served by a five-stop elevator. Handicap access into both buildings is by a walkway and ADA-compliant ramp from the parking lot to the Ashmont Street door of the church.  There are handicap accessible bathrooms on four levels of the church and parish house.

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There is a private parking lot for 47 cars and on-street parking on both Ashmont Street and on the other streets surrounding the church.

Four of these spaces are reserved for Zipcars.

Parish of All Saints, Ashmont

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Our emphasis at the Parish of All Saints is on sacramental worship (the Mass or Holy Eucharist) celebrated in a traditional Anglo-Catholic style, with strong orthodox teaching and preaching, supportive pastoral care, a caring parish family, and responsibility to our community and the greater world.

 
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