ALL SPIRITUAL ADVENTURES ARE CALVARIES

“I picture the silence of certain souls as being like vast places of refuge. Finding themselves at the end of their rope, wretched sinners enter there gropingly, with their last drop of strength. They can sleep in peace and then leave refreshed and consoled, with no memory of the great invisible temple in which, for a short while, they have laid down their burdens.”

SKID ROW MARATHON

LA Superior Court Judge Craig J. Mitchell on the Skid Row Running Club he started in 2012:

“As Catholics, we all have to figure out how we are going to live the Gospel. How are we going to take it out of the church and into the world?”

“My witness for lack of a better word as a practicing Catholic is what I do on Skid Row. I don’t have to wear a rosary around my neck.”

THE BEAUTY WITHIN

Sister Hanna Maria:
It’s a daily being confronted by the truth of God, which is not apart from me. It’s not different from me, not apart from me, but it is to go into my heart and to meet God in my heart. And also by repeating the Psalms day out and day in. They are so rich. There is no mood where you can’t find yourself in the prayers of the Psalms. So whatever mood I’m in, you go to the office and the day is… The office, the liturgy for us, it’s like the spine. It’s like the skeleton of a body. It’s what keeps the day for us. And it is what keeps us up.

SANTA MARIA NOVELLA: THE WORLD’S OLDEST APOTHECARY

There are deep burgundy bags of potpourri, fragrance diffusers, and cleansing sprays–a different scent and mood for each season of the year. You can buy Iris Toothpaste (20 bucks a tube), Crema de Barba (shaving cream) at 71 dollars a pop, and Sapone allo Zolfo—sulphur soap—with which to scrub off after, say, an exorcism.

SEND ME A POSTCARD

The mailperson, almost inevitably a man in my experience, is right up there in my mind with the local librarian and the priest as a consoler, a bringer of sustenance, a conduit between my cloistered little world and the world at large. I have come close to tears in my occasional outbursts of gratitude and wonder that the guy reallly does show up, mostly, rain, shine and here in Tucson, almost dangerous heat.

THE GLOBAL GARAGE SALE

“Before the 1960s, Japanese had a feeling of mottainai, a difficult-to-translate Japanese word that expresses a sense of regret over waste, as well as a desire to conserve,” reports Rina Hamada, editor of Japan’s Reuse Business Journal. But that was before the living standard in Japan shot sky-high. Now people are way more acquisitive, though they’ll buy second-hand if it’s of high quality.

SPIKY, HAIRY, SHINY: INSECTS OF LA

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: “Meet your neighbors!” invites the Natural History Museum, but they’re not talking about the people next door. The exhibit “Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of LA,” runs through April 1, 2022. All over the city, for the last 10 years people have gathered insects to help the […]