“It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.”
–Gerard Manley Hopkins
The saber-toothed viperfish has fearsome curved fangs so long and sharp that if they closed within its mouth would impale the fish’s brain: instead, they slide into grooves in the upper lip. A long fin grows out of its back and curves forward, “dangling a luminescent lure in front of its fearsome maw.”
The other day I went to noon Mass, Confession before. Around the responsorial Psalm, a woman arrived late, sat in the pew behind me, and immediately started rummaging through her purse, crackling, unzipping, dumping, rearranging. My God, I thought in my usually humble and contrite way, Shut UP already!
Simone Rizkallah interviews Heather King on avoiding ideologies, the many aspects of the feminine genius, and how the spirituality of St. Thérèse of Lisieux is one response to our personal and cultural ills.
“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 […]
Am I that frightened of standing “naked,” without possessions, gifts, virtues, before God? I was taught to be able to give a good account of myself at the end of the day, but giving a good account before God and before the world, it is ever more borne in, are two very different things.
“Lourdes is a place for everyone, not just well-mannered religious people. You have firefighters, gypsies, the motorcyclists’ pilgrimage. The prostitutes of Paris make an annual pilgrimage and it’s the highlight of their year.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
One thing I really liked about being married was having a guy around the house with a toolbelt. There’s always some niggling thing or two around the house that needs fixing, and around which I can become weirdly paralyzed. I’ve become obsessed in my new rented home, for example, with replacing four Venetian blinds with […]