Last Friday was the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These special days devoted to Our Lord, I’m like a proud mother, or wife, or child. As always with a notable liturgical feast, I was thus hyper-vigilant, excited, and fearful lest I lacked the strength and fortitude to make it to Mass.
So I woke at 3 am and, exhausted, went to the 9 am at St. Ambrose here in Tucson. Wept. “To whom else would we go, Lord?” I have no-one but Christ.
Oh, it is interesting: aging! Ever more invisible, ever more useless in the eyes of the world. Ever more do I live in the Sermon on the Mount. Ever more am I like Chesterton’s figure in Christian art: hollow-eyed, in exile, staring with a frantic intentness outward.
Which is fine and as it should be: as Flannery O’Connor said, “We are all blessed in our deprivations if we let ourselves be. I am really most “myself” (whatever that means) sitting in a pew by myself at Mass and crying. Most myself; most sure of what I believe and live and move and have my being for and in.
This time of year in the desert you have to get up and out the door super early as the temp can climb to the 90s by about 8. So on my walk this morning I was thinking about how maybe the worst thing about COVID was that it set us at each other’s throats.
I don’t want to be at anyone else’s throat and I pray no-one else is at mine. So I’m pondering, as I often am, how to further purify my heart. If I make any progress, I’ll let you know!
Meanwhile I am off Tuesday for a week in Detroit, a city that will be new to me. Rested up and excited.