I have had many months of “coping.” You know what I mean–day after day of administrative, car, computer, medical, and people snafus. Plus it is finally dawning on me, at my age many men and women have “retired!”

That is not in the cards for me. I own no home. I have no spouse, no children, no family to fall back on financially, no safety net other than the one I have scrimped for and saved, and I am thus poised to continue to work for the foreseeable future.

And thank God for it! Otherwise I would be stuck with my own obsessive thoughts and probably sink into torpor-like despair.

Plus store up your treasure in heaven and any earthly security is illusory at best. Plus I love my work (which extends far beyond “just” writing) and would do it whether or not I got paid.

Plus the world is ending in twenty years, anyway.

Plus it’s October and that means planting month in the garden. With the freakishly hot weather here n early July, followed by a baking hot summer, I really did begin to despair that my California native garden would endure. I lost some plants and began to question the wisdom of investing such a huge amount of time, labor, angst, and heart.

But the days are shortening, the nights and mornings cooling, the shadows lengthening, and my spirit healing. Yesterday I sat on my balcony and exulted in the afternoon sunlight illuminating the blood-red leaves of the crepe myrtle, and the mourning dove in the crown of the black walnut, and the thriving succulents lavishly crowding my chair.

I am slowly re-reading Romano Guardini’s The Lord, a book that helped along my conversion many years ago now.

“For the greatest things are accomplished in silence–not in the clamor and display of superficial eventfulness, but in the deep clarity of the inner vision; in the almost imperceptible start of decision, in quiet overcoming and hidden sacrifice. Spiritual conception happens when the heart is quickened by love, and the free will stirs to action. The silent forces are the strong forces. Let us turn now to the stillest event of all, stillest because it came from the remoteness beyond the noise of any possible intrusion–from God. Luke reports:

‘Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph’ “…

I feel ever closer to the angels, and especially close these days to Mary. If we long for the glory and dignity and essential-to-ongoing creation-ness of women, we need only look to the Blessed Virgin.

Christ, out of gallantry, took the bullet.

But he crowned his mother Queen of Heaven and Earth.



  1. In this morning's Gospel, James and John want to sit on the left and right of Jesus in His glory. Jesus says it's not His decision. So who does sit there now? I would think Mary and, I hope, Joseph. 4th Commandment and all. Plus the immense gratitude of His heart.

    1. Absolutely, Fr. Pat. The Holy Family, enshrined in heaven. Mary has to be there, and Joseph for sure as well. The Venerable Matt Talbot had a viaticum prayer that he said every time after taking the Eucharist and now I do, too: "Oh good Jesus, accept this Holy Communion as my viaticum, as if I were on this die to day. Grant that thy most Adorable Body and Blood be the last remembrance of my soul, the sacred names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph my last words"…

      Who would we most want to be reunited with after our deaths. First and foremost, our parents…and since Jesus was one of us, why would he be any different?!

      Excuse the tardy reply and Happy Thanksgiving to all at the Monterey Cathedral–


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