April Verse

At last
Tonight will be Quiet;
tomorrow/night, too.
O, but come Saturday,
we will feel the tremor
inside..  the pressure–

Alpha and Omega

shaking foundations,
shifting boulders,
and making a liar
of one tomb
after another.


 

Day into Night… into Morning
He trusted Peter’s trust in Him,
though Peter did not — once.
He trusted Dysmas’ trust in Him,
though Dysmas did not — once.
He trusted Paul’s trust in Him,
though Paul did not — once.
He trusted Thomas’ trust in Him,
though Thomas did not — once.

He trusted Martha’s trust in Him,
though Martha did not — once.
He trusted the Magdalen’s trust in Him,
though the Magdalen did not — once.
He trusts my trust in Him, too,
though I did not — once. (“Once”?
Once a day? Once a minute!)
So many mountains, clouds and
deserts, yes; and each of our Tents
is much Larger than we know,
yes
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Lambs
All fall short–
this is true,
but how little Mercy
shall be needed for that one..
kind even to the one
who will someday try his best
to devastate him even more.
One could write it in blood,
but it is only uttered silently
in foreseeing hopelessness.

One must let his kindness
teach.


 

Ruah
Losing the moment..
losing it all —
time
excuses
— until

ting-ting, ting-ting, ting-ting

frankincense.. remember..
we forget. We forget.
Here. Now. Breathe.
Again, breathe.


“.., dear children, Happy Workday to you!”
Shore-to-unseen shores fully thawed, now,
the dark expanse of an old dam’s river
sparkling under early-Spring’s bright blue
attracted the right sort —
turkey vulture oddly in need of a mirror,
flapping wings now and then for my sake;
the half a ballfield of returning loons
spacing themselves out on the mirror surface
evenly, like a small town’s slow float parade
on a wondrously comfortable day;
and me.
Why me, at that moment of driving past?
A quick pull-in and a parking,
binoculars hauled from the *glove* compartment
to confirm for later, thinner tales (no camera).
Sometimes, He shares what He sees..
a seemingly vain vulture
and parades of singular fowl
(not in D.C. but as they were meant to be),
and an old girl who understands
Gifts.


Of course not
Why should I “dread
goodbyes”?
Didn’t life itself begin with one —
we bid a never-see-you-again
to our then lifelong friend, the placenta…
but didn’t that lead to walking, and running–
to jumping and diving, climbing, scaling and,
one day, to working? Oh. Oh, dear… It did
lead to dancing, though!
At my age, one has bid many a fare-thee-well and bon voyage,
so, of course it is not a dread of goodbye — one lives through it;
it’s simply mathematics, so to speak:
I’m never going to love anyone less than I do
and really, with full occupancy, there isn’t room for..
that is, it just makes more sense to stalk, surprise and nuzzle
your new cat —

if you don’t mind.
(You don’t, do you?)


Northern April
Thaw-freed dead leaves
blown gleefully together
in the new-Spring swirls
to out back of the houses–
like rung-bell runners who
(tho’ recognized unaware)
have “Never been caught!”


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Notre Dame, our Lord’s favorite

St. Claude de la Colombiere, SJ was a confessor of (or at least one of the protected Jesuit confessors under) Louis XIV, but more importantly, he was confessor and friend of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun unremarkable but for one thing: Jesus asked her to propagate a devotion to His Sacred Heart. This was also why St. Claude was born, though little had he known it until they met. Together, they did indeed promote devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart — unto which the month of June is dedicated (regardless of presidential proclamations to the contrary).

Earlier, I read with astonishment of the blatant and obnoxious assault against an incredibly sacred cathedral (fire is one of satan’s most readable calling cards). The evil one equally despises and fears the Lord’s mother, but he errs in thinking that torching Notre Dame (by means of an accident, as it seems presently) is going to take down Notre Dame OR Our Lady. It will not even take down the people of our Lady — not there, nor here — except to the knees to pray.

All of this conflagration — and courage — reminded me so much of St. Claude and his powerful prayers, especially a line in his Act of Confidence when he says (scroll down to the Act under “Prayers”) how he has “seen stars fall from heaven and columns from the firmament” — as Parisians and we all are seeing tonight on television and streaming. It is shocking..

and it is heartening to see so many kneeling and praying (and singing) there. We are with them in confident if stunned spirit.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the intercession of our Lady, and through that of Your and Her good friends, the saints of France, please keep all French and all Catholic hearts steady and committed to Your heaven. Heal them and us of grief and loss, replace those deficits with what You have: everything Good; and may You cause the structural rebuilding of your Mother’s cathedral to begin so soon, it shall amaze us even more than has this wide-eyed grievous night. Amen.


 

 

 

New job, old me

First: Nothing against the Russian people, mind you — it’s 100% more a way of addressing a country’s leaders and shady supporters — but imagine “Russians” and “porn star” appearing in one ‘blog-title! So incredibly tacky, but I suspect it’s even worse to have those words connected to one’s name forever, here.

Indeed, I’m all about the classy ‘blog-post title, so I didn’t want to leave that awful one at the top, here (for all the rest of Lent..); today’s post title is so much better.

Anyway, onward. I asked the Lord if I could just win the lottery and be done with this working nonsense. His answer was, “Take this other thing, and be done with pestering Me about your need to store up into barns. It’ll wake you up with a nice song in your under-used head, which you will be able to explain to no one, so don’t bother them with that. And it will save My worse-aging others some Footwork.”

If that didn’t happen, then I don’t have ANY explanation of why I am now doing what I am now doing!  It’s almost not a job (says others), considering the benefits-less embarrassingly low hourly rate (TG for non-taxed mileage pay!). I’m sure some young teens make more by babysitting or doing some Spring yardwork in the neighborhood.

That’s right — I deliver hot meals (on my wheels).

I’ve been feeding others since I was 8 when I had a full baby carriage full of be-ragged dolls who were HUNGRY. I’m ashamed to say I stole crackers and such for them out of the elder Mrs. Relax’s pantry when she was off being/doing good somewhere else in the apartment. The words “Crumbs!” and “Ants!” are no strangers to my ears (nor to my tongue, these days, living with kids who lost their belief in plates and bowls long ago. I’ve added “Mice!” to the ancient repertoire).

This job didn’t even garner a nod from me; it simply seemed inevitable.

And I feel good about that. He still trusts me! It’s scary, in a good way. And it’s incredibly merciful, considering it’s the easiest job on earth — easy on everything but the emotions. I can do this one almost indefinitely, come whatever may, here.

I’m training this and next week, but I did my first run yesterday, and am delightfully heartbroken on behalf of this new carriage full of lovable poor souls with whom I hope to ride wild horses on a beach in our far more pleasant eternity beyond here. It even incorporates a little soup kitchen-like prep work prior to hitting the road! Yay! Some of our clients bear rags, but none have to settle for crackers and bread heels!

As I came back into my cave and put my coat and bag down after such a short work-day, I heard a happy, urgent little voice (only) in my head:

“Take me with you!”

I turned around to look at the little and last third class relic I have, a sort of chaplet-rosary of (that great Irishwoman) St. Therese of Lisieux’s 24 “Glory be” beads, with a bit of holy cloth enclosed in the medal.

I nodded that time. Taking her along was probably inevitable, too, because I have an 8-year old’s love and thus need a big sister’s love to deliver (/from Him) — but I’m glad she spoke up!

❤ ❤


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When Russians (or a porn star) collude with themselves.

There must be a dollop of Teflon in self-tanning tubes these days — or, rather, only in one — considering all the other pale faces. Coincidence?

In other news, so to speak:

In a similar way to how an overwhelmingly decisive win turned into unheard-of madness within mere hours of the election a million years ago, our oddly-warm March air has Comey’d all over the river ice right out of the clear blue — although with a great and sane result: RIVER! Moving, rippling, sparkling, flowing, visited, heartily greeted by the t-shirted/walking/bicycling crowds — in only a few days!

Indeed, even here in Downtownland, I recently saw a gigantic hawk above a heavily-pigeoned parking lot. The little birds all around have been singing/territorializing/chatting since that last 1-degree day, and the mourning doves are returning, one soft visage after another — small silky Brown Swiss cattle grazing under the birdfeeder station.

One awaits only the chipmunk’s waking, and then one can hang out the Spring flag. If only one had one of those.  This ‘blogpost was as close as I could pre-chipmunk come to Spring-definitiveness, much like the waiting time until the Southern District of New York — and all the other areas — get all woke up toward their new Springtime. And ours.

😉 Hang in there. Happy Spring. And then some!


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Verily

She watched her, whenever some movement there caught her eye, speaking animatedly, nodding vigorously, and her hands extended out to no one seen while the priest prayed, and again when the choir next sang. And in the quiets.

She saw the other eye-catcher — the de-sized one with the wheelie-walker and the pom-pom hat in a lovely hand-knit sweater — saw her make her way laboriously but surely across the sidewalk and up the ramp into the church, albeit with assistance there to stop the rolling backward. Whom she guarded after Mass until safely borne away.

She saw the oversized young man who didn’t know what to do with his feet, or perhaps he’d wanted to make a dash for some door — but which one? He was too far up front and center to make it back outside before a bolt of lightning would miss him. Turned out he was with the RCIA group, though he hadn’t gone up with the others for the blessing. “I’m with you, pal,” she thought, “I get it. Even now. Invisible is preferable. God sees. That is enough.”

She watched people watching babies. Once when she closed her eyes, she heard a quiet cry from somewhere left of her, or perhaps very far away.

When she opened her eyes, she finally smiled. The parted crowd revealed the couple. Dirty hair carefully parted and combed on his middle-aged head, and gentle remembered courtesies extended to the ragged little blond at his side, guiding hand at her back.

The smile? Who knows? Something about the halt, the lame, the blind.. and the Gadarenes. Something about the beggars, the lepers, and the widow’s mite. Something about the number of turtledoves.. and a far-off cry clearly heard.


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Either way, there is never an echo

Lent. A good time to awake thinking of Josh Groban — his voice and equally clear eyes, and of that which he so often chooses to sing:
The invisible longing..

 

Even – and especially – now, we may sing to Him (Who never minds our typos)..

 

Even now — and always — some songs may be sung by Him..


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Everyone, sing!

He admitted it right after Mass.  He named all the Lenten programs and initiatives being offered, after having incensed the Gospel earlier as well as the altar after that (as always): “I intend to make this the holiest parish in the whole state.”

One knows without even thinking about it that his intent is for our benefit, not for his own in any way; every fruit will be for the Lord, not for his human basket.

“That is his job,” some would say –and if so, we’d know exactly how hard his life can be at times!

I have a friend who, even as a small child, slept on the edge of her bed “so that the Holy Family would have enough room.” It was likely no surprise to anyone, except maybe to her humble self, that she became a lifelong (so far!) religious sister. I have a feeling that today’s (Roman Catholic) pastor may’ve gotten the call at a similar age, though it took living secularly before he made the move.

If you’ve guessed his heritage to be Italian, French Canadian, Irish, Nigerian, Kenyan, Polish, Asian…  you’re right. It doesn’t matter that he’s Polish, except in one way. All the above who’ve been raised Catholic, whose relatives are Catholic, whose friends and peers were and are Catholic, who have some consecrated relatives, and who may know of truly Catholic politicians — well, all of that helped! The Lord plants many a seed, but they each need steady light and frequent watering to bloom. We lived in the land of steady Light and frequent Water-ing.

Indeed, as I grew up in the midst of working class ethnicities (all of whose immigrant parents weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms), we had one other thing in common always: Holy Mass (and all the sacraments). Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, Confessionals, Last Rites, wakes and funerals and burials — always someone in the neighborhood(s) was involved in any/all of the above.

In every family, there was always at least one member who had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin and/or to her holy earthly spouse. My grandmother was devoted to both. She had middle-named all her boy children “Joseph” and all her girl children “Mary.” She and an Irish neighbor woman used to gather frequently in the afternoon to pray the Rosary. I might be being half-fanciful in this, but I believe Mrs. Griffin may’ve prayed it in Gaeilge, and Memere, (definitely) in French. The Rosary, too, is like Mass — universal. We all know what is being said and pled, offered and effected, no matter what language it’s in.

Today, because St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Sunday — always the Lord’s day — there was zero green seen in the Church, except for muted colors in shirts and the Aran sweater or vest, and the only green I could handily find: two barrettes that I affixed to a purse flap. I was much too hurried to go dig out the little real-shamrock-under-glass pin, or the aunt’s lapel pin of himself in Bishop attire. I wrecked the Sneem woolen mills scarf long ago, gave away the Connemara marble brooch as well as the socks of Irish sheeps’ wool as gifts to special friends who are Irish, but who may never gain Irish soil itself.

Any items I might’ve accessed to wear are tucked into final giving boxes. Gift boxes for my children and grandchildren on that fateful day when they all gather in church for my sake. In each box is something brought from Ireland herself (mostly by others), something from Memere’s Fr. Canadian/Mi’qmak side, and something from my own life that I loved. I think it might help, on that day, but I know for sure I’d like to have received something like that from any passed loved one.

As for himself’s feast day, not to worry. Standing directly behind the cantor today (and every Mass) is a giant statue of St. Patrick in full Bishop attire! His huge staff rests on the ground but rises to Heaven, and he himself is standing upon a mess of vipers. I don’t know that I’d like to sing before his imposing self, except that in his other hand, he is holding up a small shamrock –to remind us. Not of Ireland, nor of himself. Of the way, rather, he explained the Holy Trinity. One cannot hold a single shamrock of any size and appear unapproachable. I should take to doing that, perhaps.

😉

*I cannot leave this ‘blogpost so bare on this day..

 

 

*Maybe you didn’t see this part earlier… I didn’t have it here earlier — that could be why!:  I feel a need to go quiet for a while. You could call it a holy need. (I can’t. It’s always way more complicated than holy!)  Lent is a good time to figure out complications, though. Quietly.  🙂

 


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Runs-with-wee-folks

Few of us get very bent out of shape by the St. Patrick’s Day hoopla. All the cutesy (and tacky) extra-secular green things at the checkouts or taking up whole aisles in stores — well, we like to play, and especially on this northeastern coast where so many Irish people ended up! We will allow the playing (with lots of groans) and just hope everyone makes it home okay (and to Mass okay) on himself’s own holy day, though this year it falls on a Sunday. DOUBLE the reason to make it to Mass, then!

Love for Saint Patrick goes much deeper for most of us, or at least for many. He is, in every way imaginable, a heroic man. He was abducted as a teen (from what is now Scotland, I’d read, but is suddenly biographied as Roman Britain) by Irish pirates. He was enslaved for 6 years, escaped, was retaken, escaped, returned home, and — though it took a while to get up the nerve for such a task — returned to Ireland on his own to do what he could, God-wise, for his beloved Irish. Some surely think of his dream for a holy Ireland (especially) as only a dream. He did not and neither do his followers, wherever they’ve landed.

Faith persisting, in light of all the madness that surrounds us, is as besmirched as the Son of God/Son of Man/son of Mary even in a land that (I hope still) shows us its statues and crosses and Marian half-shells in public everywhere. (“Aye, faith in God was always scoffed at,” might say the great Irishman, Moses. No apologies, here, either, and I do believe that wherever she lives, now, Erin is Won by the intercession of Patrick, Brigid, and many other evergreen souls.)

Here’s St. Patrick’s Lorica. It’s an impressive breastplate — and again, I’ve now lived long enough to see it questioned (as originally being his) — but the rest of his life, his daily slog, is even more reflective of his faithfulness, and thus, even more impressive. I’d suggest saying/praying the Lorica aloud — to hear it in one’s own voice is startling. Empowering.

(Patrick — naturally Celtic or not — would, I’m all but certain, remind you that the great Feast of St. Joseph, earthly spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ, always arrives 2 days later — March 19. He would, I’m all but certain, humbly tell you that Joseph’s life is the one to keep your heart’s eye upon far more than himself’s.)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Behave (says Padraig, I’m utterly certain).

❤ ❤ ❤


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It’s Lent..

Lent means evil has scored somewhere in the world of mankind. It is never satisfied and cannot stand God or His favorite creation — and, least of all, active non-worship of itself.

Prayers for New Zealand (today… Where and who will it be tomorrow? Or at Easter? And Christmas? And all other holy days/seasons?)

Anyone care to shout, “Guns don’t kill people!”? I don’t know about NZ, but many here will shout it — albeit not for a couple of days, just to be decent.

Indeed, many will cling to their fear/hatred openly, again, and expound/advocate it as a right; it will just look like guns — like any gun anywhere in the world — which by its owned, stolen, borrowed existence bears a latent/dormant will to kill.

I’ve never heard of an “Active Stabber” “Active Pummeler” “Active Torcher/Acid-er” protocol, but “Active Shooter” protocols exist all over the place, here and in other countries — indeed, the shooting is quite active — and, especially for us, its protocol is a quiet way of admitting defeat.

Mosques, churches, temples, nations, ethnicities in the same nation, schools, nightclubs, federal institutions, global entities — stricken, bombed, suicide-missioned, mowed down… but mostly taken, held, and shot up with affordable, accessible guns.

Fear and hatred, unrest, distrust and a dearth of goodwill shall exist for all our lifetimes; that is exactly what mankind shall not be freed from, thank You anyway, God! However, we are mankind in the better ways, too, and we all have the year-round duty (and power) to make it harder for evil to score a win of horrible losses. If that needs to be legislated, let it be so, for the sake of all.


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When shove comes:

I have yet to read von Balthasar’s whole book, “Heart of the World,” but this one chapter has been enough to ease my soul for a number of years. It is Jesus speaking to His church. I read it at the height of the American scandals (Massachusetts) and I was a basket case by the end. A thankful mess. Cried my heart out. He’s GOT this.

When someone has caused me to feel down — be they some other religion, none, or a skewed form of my own — by ravaging my beloved Church Who is modeled on Mary Ever Virgin and literally bears the very Heart of the world, Who has put the holiest people on earth into my immediate surroundings — all of which I can hardly speak well enough to, or I’d have done so by now! — I come back to this.

And you can bet it’s one reason I love Jesuits! Always, the Jesuits — making me nod. Indeed, a re-reading doesn’t make me cry — that was just that once. For all the years since that horrible night, it makes me nod.  I nod, “Amen.”


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