The Carmel I came from was known as the “skit Carmel”. This is not surprising, Saint Therese wrote her fair share of plays for big feast days and was cast as major lead roles. Our Carmel was famous for taking songs and making them “Carmelite”. The sisters were really good at coming up with the most creative lyric changes for Disney songs. For example, changing Mulan’s “Be a Man”- to “Be a Nun”. Skits were our way of giving ourselves fully and completely, because it forces one out of their comfort zone and to give, not for yourself; but to the Lord- through the sisters. It was all about charity, and it taught us to give…all! A great exercise for the spiritual life and for union with God. We were a very traditional Carmel- only the Latin Mass and Carmelite Rite of the Divine Office, but these skits often reminded me that Jesus and Mary must have had a very joyful home life with the good Saint Joseph!
One of my personal favorites was one of the novices rewrote “Be Our Guest”. All about Our Lord and His bride. I was originally cast as Our Lord, but was last minute switched to Belle’s role and I was never so excited. I was usually cast as the weirdos. Jesus really humbled me…all the time! One time I begged Our Lord to finally give me a “normal” or well, dignifying role. Right when I asked Him that, I was cast as “the fat kid on a beach, building a sand castle”. This is why I am marrying Jesus, His sense of humor is impeccable. I kept the lyrics to Be His Guest, since; to this day I look back and realize those lyrics really assured me that to be His bride- I must suffer. While most men give the woman they love chocolates and flowers, Our Lord gives the cross. While the cross, of course never sounded romantic to me, these lyrics showed me that He is a Man of romance and that true love is found in His glorious cross! I often saw how He Himself had to have written these lyrics.
Be His Guest
Ma Chere Mademoiselle! It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now, we invite you to relax. Let us pull up a chair as Our Lord proudly presents… your dinner! (a cross).
vs1. Be His guest! Be His guest! Put His service to the test. Just a simple little ‘yes’ Cherie, and He provides the rest. Run with glee to His tree. (By the way it’s all free!) Try the hard stuff it’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask Mother Mistress! You can sing! You can dance! With the cross, what romance! Fly to His cross, settle down and build your nest! And you’ll see with what love, He feeds His little dove, be His guest, Qui His guest, be His guest!
vs2. Be His guest! Be His guest! Sakes alive, and you’ll be blessed. He’ll prepare and serve with flair a culinary cabaret. You’re alone and you’re scared, but the banquet’s all prepared. No one’s gloomy or complaining when Our Lord is entertaining! Let His thorns pinch and prick! Let those nails do their trick. He’ll make you shout ‘encore!’ and bring Him out for more! Mary Candida says, ‘the cross is tasty, yes?’ Oh be His guest, be His guest, be His guest.
Bride (interlude solo)- Life is so unnerving for a sister who’s not serving. She’s not a bride without a cross to call her own. Ah, the good old days when she’d be useful, helping drag His heavy cross along! For years she’s been rusting, needing so much more than dusting! Needing exercise, a chance to do His will! Most days, she just sat outside the castle, flabby, fat and lazy, He walked in and upsy-daisy!
vs3. Be His gust! Be His guest! Get your worries off your chest. Let us say for your entree, we’re on an aray, may we suggest:
Are you cold, are you hot, Heaven’s sake is that a spot? While His Sacred Heart is glowing, let Him help you, you’ll keep going, course by course, one by one, till you shout, ‘thy will be done!’ Then He’ll sing you off to sleep as you digest. In heav’n you’ll prop your feet up, but for now let’s eat up, be His guest, be His guest, be His guest….. please be His guest!