SEEKING WITH GROANS

“I condemn equally those who choose to praise men, those who choose to condemn him, and those who choose to divert themselves. And I can approve only those who seek with groans.” –Blaise Pascal, “Pensées” Welp, I have been privately praising certain men, condemning certain men, and choosing on many occasions to divert myself. Then […]

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.”

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.