Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Rolling Stones and All Saints Day? Of women, wine, song ... and God

Augustine knew temptation
He loved women, wine and song
And all the special pleasures
of doing something wrong
–Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones song "Saint of Me"

Some of you astute FIT readers have noticed the recent Rolling Stones Wine advertisement topping my blog site, and perhaps have wondered how the heck I could agree to sell something that promotes perhaps the most hedonistic group in Rock 'n Roll history? Furthermore, why would I write a blog on the Stones on the Feast of All Saints? Well, to paraphrase David Essex, "Read on!"

First of all, we used to go with all Google ads (which pop up based on "keyword content") but when my pro-life blogs kept getting pro-choice ads (and our Friends-Site kept getting plugs for gay priest videos), we cancelled them. Yes you can still find ND merchandise ads on our basically unchanging Web-Site, but what to do about our blog? The A&E Notre Dame football DVDs (no doubt due to their dreadful season) did nothing, and with the holiday celebrations just around the corner, it seemed natural for this former assistant manager at a fine wine retailer who once put the Psalm (104:14-15) on our store marquee over Thanksgiving, to advertise wine.

But the Stones? Certainly, as Rock's longest running act, one has to give the group a little credit for the Christian virtue of endurance. Hard work and persistence are also theirs. Keith Richards' classic quote to a less diligent guitarist, "I slept in a chandelier last night, and still made it to rehearsals on time," might not exemplify clean living, but it does demonstrate putting the team "above" yourself. Finally, the fact that these '60s rockers even survived into their 60s shows that unlike contemporaries such as Hendrix, Joplin, or Morrison, they obviously mastered at least some of their vices or they simply wouldn't be around. But still the real answer to today's question(s) are found in that one Stones song.

First of all, "Saint of Me," has to be the only rock song ever featuring my patron saint Augustine, so I got to give Mick and the boys credit for that. But seriously, "Saint of Me" demonstrates both a searching and a finding, where the singer (Jagger) like King Herod, at very least sees the attraction of Christianity. But I would take these lyrics a step further; in other words, I think the song shows Mick actually does believe in the Good News, but like Augustine, in his "Change me Lord, but not yet" phase, is afraid to make that final step. And, of course, for Mick, that last step IS a doozy; he may have given up drugs and moderated on wine, but something tells me that "women" part is still a huge stumbling block for him ...

Perhaps that IS where Fighting Irish Thomas comes in. Remember what the Lord said about the one lost sheep. Buying the Stones wine IS one thing, but if our FIT prayers can bring about Jagger's conversion, Mick's miracle would undoubtedly rank right up their with Paul's or Augustine's ... or anyone's.

"Saint of Me" proves that unlike many current dark rockers, Jagger's real sympathy is not with the devil, but with Christ. But in order to break that heart of stone for good, we not only need, Mick (to borrow a phrase from Todd Rundgren), "to get you a woman," but THE woman. So this time we need to pray Mick finds not just any lady, but Our Lady. And then?

The Angels sang in jubilation
When Mick joined FIT's faithful fight
As Jagger learned the special pleasures
Of doing something right

Happy All Saints Day Guys!

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