As I pack up more and more stuff, it’s also interesting to see what’s left; what’s essential as I more or less camp out for a few days. Six 12-ounce packages of Starbucks French roast (I buy them expired on ebay). A giant container of pure cane sugar. A glass of roses from the garden. My portable prayer box (breviary, Magnificat, candle, incense, matches). A small old wooden crucifix. Three rosaries.
Crunch time means devoting an inordinate amount of mental space and physical exertion to “stuff” for a while. One function of the Incarnation, I’ve been thinking, is that we are constantly constantly carrying stuff from one place to another. Take a look around next time you’re out. Guys with plastic bags dangling from their handlebars, kids with backpacks, mothers with strollers, pickup trucks laded with rakes, shovels, trash barrels, all of us hauling bags of groceries into the kitchen after a Trader Joe’s run.
Let’s start off the week with a laugh, and a tear… “He entered my room and said: ‘Poor creature, you who understand nothing. Come with me and I will teach you things which you do not suspect.’ I followed him. He took me into a church. It was new and ugly. He led me up […]
Devastating discovery: Tucson does not have 99 Cents Only Stores, which have been a mainstay of my marketing life for many years. Cleaning supplies, toiletries, produce, oat milk, coconut water, flax seed…Aspirin, cough drops, hydrogen peroxide, Sour Patch Watermelon…I’m sure I have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars at the 99.
Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: Recently I heard a homily in which the priest shared that he and his brethren are generally instructed by their superiors not to say anything that will disturb people. I almost wept. If we’re not here to be disturbed, to be challenged, to be called higher, […]
From a friend, last week, at Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario: “The Loons and the Great Blue Heron have returned from the south. The maple sap has quit running and the maple trees are budding. Yesterday there was a work bee to take the leaves off the flower beds because the crocuses have just started […]
Mountains of eyeglasses, combs, shaving brushes, human hair: “Here are the stockpiles of the Nazis at war.”
The ceilings of gas chambers, raked by desperate fingernails. The surgical ward where human experiments were performed: amputations, castrations, burnings with phosphorus
Every once in a while I end up at some strange, random church and hear a homily that makes me sit up straight. The priest at the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Nogales, AZ, in the gentlest possibly way, pointed out that every one of us is exactly like Judas. How many times have we sold him out for thirty pieces of silver–or, for that matter, way less?…
Recently I had lunch with a dear friend of many decades, a convert like me who last year was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer and has undergone surgery, skin grafts, radiation, chemo, and excruciating nerve pain.
“So have you been going through a huge existential desert, or what?” I kicked off the conversation.
“Awake tends to draw survivors who are deeply wounded but who want to remain in the Church. They want their pain to be heard and held, not papered over. They often want to talk to someone who is part of the Church but not part of the diocesan hierarchy.”