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!

❤ ❤





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..





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.  🙂






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).

❤ ❤ ❤






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.”





What’s he done NOW??

I realized the other day that I had not seen one word of news about Pope Francis for many months! I knew its reason right away: the U.S. media have a DC darling who gives them fodder (well, hay — ugly, blighty hay) for print even all through the night.

The Pope used to be at least the media’s anti-darling, i.e., “Look what he’s done NOW!” It would be (controversially) good for a few blurbs and many comments.

The Pope doesn’t give out hay. We can agree or disagree about what we think he has done, but he gives out bread. That is inarguable.

(And we may not all agree, but I can’t help but think we’re in that time of the ages mentioned in Scripture when bad is called good, and good is called bad.. I have always been able to tell the difference. If only the MAGA-ites could.)

At any rate, the news is out there.

More here.