Irony is all around. When we hook words up into phrases or titles they often take on unexpected connotations. I often see the sign for Jesus’ Bookstore on a highway not far from here. I didn’t know the Lord sold books. In this economic climate, I hope he’s diversified his portfolio. One of the other ironies of life is that as soon as I started getting mailings from AARP (aarrpp, indeed! Retirement is a myth!) I also started to receive advertisements for funeral homes. While you’re planning for retirement (hah!) why not plan for the next step beyond? It is more certain. A nice, long sleep sounds good right about now. So I didn’t ignore the flier from the Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit. What’s not to like about that?
That name, though. Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit. What sense of that troubling little preposition “of” is intended? Has the Holy Spirit been buried here? Or is it the of of ownership? One should probably be concerned with whom will be around the premises if one is to spend the rest of eternity there. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The drawing of the mausoleum indicates that this is an effort at fund raising. We certainly prefer our graves to be whitewashed. That is the biblical way.
“We sincerely regret,” the reverse reads, “if this should reach any home where there is illness or sorrow, as this was certainly not intended.” In a world of ubiquitous illness and sorrow, such must be a risky proposition from the start. Also, one might note, if one is not Catholic. Are those not welcome at the eucharistic altar welcome at the Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit? What if one has a down-payment? Isn’t all of life a down-payment on eternity? In this day of facile information sharing, it isn’t unusual to have people you don’t even know wishing you happy birthday online (by the way, it’s not). It seems we’ve now gone to the other extreme to anticipate a happy death-day. That is, if I’m reading that preposition correctly.