OK, we’re going to take a little break from the quiet, reflectiveness of Lent to talk about – fun! If you haven’t seen the YouTube video of Sister Cristina Scuccia singing Girls Just Want to Have Fun on the Italian version of The Voice, do it now – right now!
I love Suora Cristina. Not just because she has a great voice, and certainly not because she’s a novelty “singing nun” act. I love her energy, her wit – and her unabashed self-identification as a person of faith.
But what I found really interesting was the reaction of the judges when they turned around and saw who was singing. Her audition video is worth watching just for the reactions of the four celebrity judges: the “devilishly” handsome rock star; the heavily tattooed rapper; the popular singer/dancer/actress; and the pop/blues
singer-songwriter. The video is worth watching just for them.
It’s obvious that they had a hard time accepting that a nun could sing, dance and joke around – that a religious girl could sometimes just want to have fun. They were amazed. J-Ax, the rapper declared that if Sister Cristina had been around when he grew up in the church, he’d be pope by now. Raffaella Carrà folded her hands as if in prayer.
Granted, this was Italy. The judges on the American version wouldn’t have been exclaiming “Mama mia!” But I don’t think we’re any less amazed that a religious person, be they a nun, priest or pastor, could actually like to have fun. I often tell the story of when I bought my little red Honda del Sol back in 1993. I can’t count the times I heard, “But pastors can’t drive little red sports cars!” My response was always, “Show me where it says that in the Bible.”
I suppose we’re expected to be serious all the time, contemplating the theological meaning of life and going about doing good works with grim determination. But guess what: we can also have a sense of humor, like to dance, listen to popular music. We don’t flinch when you use a swear word in front of us (we’ve probably used it ourselves now and again). In other words, we’re human.
So, here we are in the middle of Lent. Maybe we all could use a break from being overly serious. How about if today your Lenten discipline is to be silly? Sing loudly in the shower? Dance in your living room to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”? Tell a dumb joke? Roll down a hill? You pick.
I think Sister Cristina would say, “Just do it!”