I surely hope that the pews of Mother Superior’s private chapel are padded. All of the kneeling required for her prayerful reflection must play hell on her near octogenarian knees. It is clear that, due to long hours massaging her rosary beads, arthritis has set into those bony digits; so much so that it was necessary to make a little starter tear in her copy of the SOTU address to avoid the colossal embarrassment of a mid-rip failure. Despite the fact that she is no longer able to firmly grip a ruler she has yet managed, through a combination of cheap vodka, prescription pain killers and an indomitable will, to maintain an order among her increasingly rebellious charges.
Through her long years of pious existence in service of the Church, Mother Superior has developed a possession of spirit common to zealots of every stripe. Under any creed there breaths nothing more deadly than the true believer, for they are awash in whatever flavor of holy spirit that their gods dispense. Becoming one with the spirit infects the corporeal being with the certainty that they, the true believer, are to act as the very instrument of their god on earth. The warning signs for when a zealot’s meter has grown full are not always obvious. Some of the more common manifestations are confusion, slurred speech and wearing white out of season; all three of which the Mother Superior exhibits with regularity.
This righteous fervor blinds one to practical realities, a small price to pay for such heightened enlightenment to be sure, but no less debilitating to navigation in the physical realm. It must have been in this weakened and vulnerable state that she allowed herself to accept the counsel of the Torquemada Twins, Adam and Jerrold. There are certainly more boisterous voices in the flock, but no others with the tools of Inquisition at their disposal. In the throes of her delusions of grandeur Mother Superior could not see beyond to the possible consequences: what should happen if their quarry were to escape?
Throughout history there have been bold prophets to proclaim the date of the end, usually through some construct which entails their being cast in some messianic role. There seems to be some manner of universal prune juice which causes societies to excrete these at roughly decade intervals. Most fade into history and are forgotten; those which we know range from the infamous, a la Jim Jones, to the pathetic Heaven’s Gate exit in 1997. In those two examples the prophets went the way of their own prophecies, but the more forgettable cases end with shame and exits of a less permanent nature.
Mother Superior now stands before us painted in that very shame, but no quitter is she. She is of that rare breed who, even after utter public repudiation, will carry on undaunted. Doubling and tripling down on the same delusions, repurposed and repackaged daily to fit the ever changing news cycle. In semi-lucid moments she angrily rattles her beads as she shakes her fists in righteous indignation. Her remaining acolytes are in tow, eagerly slobbering for her continued pronouncements. Completely oblivious to the fact that she is thoroughly discredited, they blithely go their way to parrot her words. The Dark Gospel echoes in an electronic cathedral where most no longer come to take their communion. Their sacraments of horse piss and turd biscuits do not trans-substantiate into anything higher. They, like Mother Superior herself, are only the fruits scraped from the sidewalks of her home parish.
She will at some future date depart from this realm. There, but by the Grace of God goes she, mortua sorore graditur (if my Latin is correct). And she will leave us in prayer:
Our gender neutral, benign and omnipotent, anthropomorphized, extra-corporeal entity
who resides in Washington D.C.
Hallowed be thy State
Thy Kingdom unchallenged
Thy will be imposed
Here, there and everywhere
Forever and ever