The stock market is melting down, coronavirus is spreading its tentacles, we have in our day “no prince, prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you”…(Daniel 3:38).

Yesterday morning on my way to Mass I pulled over to the curb in front of the Pasadena Public Library to mail my rent. There on the sidewalk with his cart was the library guy with a bum leg, cheerfully extracting books from the return bin.

The fortyish guy with neatly-combed hair who always wears a short-sleeved shirt and hitches his pants up with a belt and when you see him inside often delivers a beatific smile and a bright, loudish “Good morning!” Maneuvering about on the sidewalk with his lame leg that probably hurt: head down, efficiently, faithfully, doing his job.

I thought, Now see that is why the world keeps going, moving, working as smoothly as it does–because of him and the legions of people like him who will never have their names in the paper, receive an award, demand validation, attention or approval.

He gave me such hope, this guy, a shining example of humanity’s inexhaustible life force, resiliency, inherent goodness, and ability to keep going no matter the chaos or pain through which we may be plowing.

We are made to come out of our caves each morning, say hello to our neighbor, pitch in.   These are the people upon whom the world really depends, not the headline-grabbers “in charge”…

Speaking of which, I’m reading Good Things Out of Nazareth, The Uncollected Letter of Flannery O’Connor and Friends.

She writes, “As to the devil, I not only believe he is but believe he has a family which in the extent + scope of its activities is a power to be reckoned with as stronger than all the dead and unborn put together.” 

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