It’s a good in and of itself to commit, for however few minutes a day, to learning something new.
What with the general desert landscape and color palette in Tucson, many many objects lying on or by the street could be dead animals–or they could be rocks, twigs, branches, palm tree refuse, or clods of dirt, mud or dust.
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!
The opera was worth every minute of the 3 hours. The acting was superb; French maestro Manuel Rosenthal conducted. But it wasn’t the music that stayed with me. It was the Reverend Mother’s death—so excruciating as almost to be unworthy of her; so NOT a traditional martyrdom.
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.
But the shot that really got to me was of a little baby nursing. There he or she was, guzzling happily away, and the kid’s face was simply swarming: grotesque clusters of flies had settled in its nose, its ears, its mouth. Its little hand ineffectively tried swatting them away but already you could see the kid was resigned to the lifelong, no doubt constant presence of these unbearably annoying, ruinous, pests.
Asking questions about such a sudden and startling phenomenon is responsible, reasonable and sane. A sense of bewilderment—how? why?—is he cry of the heart of any marginally sensitive human being.
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.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Hard Times. Terkel, famously, travelled around the country talking to, among others, itinerant farmers, seamstresses, field workers, burlesque queens, con men, speculators, and union organizers.