Friday, November 30, 2012

Catching Up

Today I have an appointment with the eye doctor at 3:30 p.m. I'm hoping that this will be my last appointment for a long time. I would appreciate some prayers.

Night before last on my way to evening Mass, there was a big, beautiful yellow moon rising on the horizon. Yesterday on my way to work after morning Mass, it was there again, pale and white, and low in the western sky. I hardly ever get to go to Mass during the week, but because I spent the night with a friend in town, I got to go twice. It was a great gift and the fact that it was bracketed by the rising and setting of the moon made it especially nice. I read a story once that said that Catholic sisters traveling to the west in the early days of our country called the moon Our Lady's Lantern.

I took this picture this morning as I was leaving for work. The light is coming from my headlights. It has been much edited since originally you could only see the moon. I took another picture without the headlights and no amount of editing on my part could reveal anything but the moon. I clicked autobalance on my photo editor and this appeared. It looks like a book cover to me. Maybe I should write a book about the moon.

This is a picture that I took Wednesday morning. You can't at all see the beautiful vision which caused me to stop, which was some wonderful mist in the indentation between the trees, but I like the picture anyway.

I've been wanting for a long time to get a picture of these corn shocks, but never had time to stop. They were very beautiful before they were frozen, bright and yellow against the reddish-brown dirt and the remaining green--four big fields of them. This isn't the original crop, which grew quickly and was tall and green before it dried up in the drought. That crop was cut down and the stubble was plowed under, but this little crop grew up from the seed. It was sparse, and never got to be more than a couple of feet tall, but it was bright green and happy-looking. The fields were beautiful at every stage--even when the corn was brown and dry. I wish I had pictures of the whole little story--life rising from death and beautiful in death.

It's been quiet around here for the last couple of days and it's not because I haven't been writing anything, but because I hated what I wrote and decided to spare you. 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My~Well Not Exactly

But it hasn't been all sweetness and light, and lovely pastoral idylls either.

Actually, we didn't really meet with many four-legged creatures on our last two walks on the pilgrimage. In fact, I think these were the only ones.

What we did come across on the first day was mosquitoes. Many mosquitoes. It was a bit surprising that after having walked through a fairly swampy area last week without molestation, we were greeted by this swarm along a flat, dry part of the road. Maybe there were some more of the little ponds like the one in the picture hiding behind little swells in the ground. But otherwise that was a pretty good day, although this did puzzle us a bit.

Maybe some disturbing statistics about literacy in Mississippi came out after they posted the first sign, or maybe we are expecting an influx of foreign tourists?

Sunday, was another story. I was really excited when we started out Sunday because we were walking through one of the prettiest stretches of road on our route, and because we were going to reach the halfway mark.

This was really gorgeous about two days before the walk when all the leaves where still on the trees, still, it's pretty.  I was a bit concerned about the drop-off on the side of the road because there was a lot of traffic and sometimes the visibility for oncoming cars is bad. The real problem was this:

See those indentations along the edge of the road? I'm not sure what purpose they are supposed to serve. I guess they are to warn people on dark nights that they are about to drive off the road, but it seems like it would be too late by the time you figured out what was going on. For most of the way, I had to walk with my left foot stepping in and between and around those bumps, and it was really difficult. And though I wasn't really cold, I got a terrible headache and earache about a half mile into the walk, and when I sat down to rest after just over a mile, I got such horrible muscle cramps in my leg that I had to stop .3 miles short of the halfway mark.

I was disappointed at first, but I was also thinking that this is what a real pilgrimage is like. Some days are really nice and some are just painful. So, we will just have to wait until next weekend to cross the halfway mark. There's still about a mile of those indentations left, so I'll have to think up something good to offer it up for. I'm thinking about getting some serious shoes, too--and something to cover my forehead. Now I'm wondering if part of the reason people wear those bands on their foreheads is to keep from getting headaches from the cold.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Between Day

Yesterday, as some of you know was my birthday, and tomorrow is our 41st anniversary, so I always think of November 25 as Between Day. Usually Between Day is a sort of nothing day, and that's okay with me. 

Today, I find myself between two women, both named Barbara, who lost their husbands recently. These two women have little in common except for the two most important things. They both are faithful Christians, and they both had strong Christian marriages and families. 

On my birthday, Bill and I went to the funeral of our friend Kent. A friend said to me in an email that at our age having a kind of memento mori like might be good, and that is pretty much what I had been thinking. At 26, it would have horrified and terrified me to go to a funeral on my birthday, but at 62, I found it rather comforting. Kent and Barb led an exemplary Catholic life. They had hosted a Rosary group for young people in their home for over 20 years. They started when their children were teenagers and just never stopped. So many young people have been nourished by this group, including the priest who gave the homily at the funeral. Father said that Barb had told him that she was at peace because she had done everything she could to help her husband get to Heaven. What a blessing to be able to say that.

Barbara F. is a graduate of the seminary where I work. I don't know her well. Most of our dealings have been of a business nature: admissions matters, and an interview, some correspondence about a class my boss teaches, but we did talk occasionally about the fact that we had the same wedding anniversary. So, I'm thinking about her and praying for her because I know that tomorrow will be very hard for her. I hope that some of you will say a prayer from them too.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here are some friends that came over for breakfast and again for dinner on my birthday. It's hard to get a great picture through two panes of glass both of which need to be cleaned.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I was going to write a bit about the pilgrimage, but I have some pictures which I cannot get off my camera that I want to use. The other day, I took the card out of my camera to download some pictures and forgot to put it back in, so when I took new pictures (including the deer), they were stored on my phone instead of the card and the only way to get them off is to email them to myself, which I cannot do from home since we have very little reception. So, I re-inserted the card and emailed the pictures to myself when we went to Memphis, but forgot to tell the phone to start storing pictures on the card instead of the phone, so when I took pictures today, they were stored on the phone. Tomorrow maybe.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Anticipation~Preparing to Prepare

I have always wanted to have an album that had just Advent songs--no Christmas Carols. When I asked people for recommendations, they would always recommend albums of recordings of Lessons and Carols, and they always had Christmas Carols on them. So last year, having finally learned how to download songs and burn CDs (just in the nick of time before CD players completely disappear), I went to Amazon and looked through millions of options to find the songs I wanted. It was much harder than I thought it would be. I'm still not happy with some of my choices, but all-in-all it's what I wanted. It doesn't always work well as an album. I have to change the volume almost every time a song begins, and sometimes the change from one song to the next is jarring, but I still like it. In case you care to do likewise, I've linked to all the songs below. 

I had to include The Carnival Band's The Angel Gabriel even though they sneak Christmas into the last verse. Most of it is about the Annunciation.

On Jordan's Bank 

Rorate Coeli

O Come Divine Messiah

On Jordan's Bank

The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns

Savior of the Nations Come

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Creator of the Stars of Night

People Look East

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Maria Walks Amid the Thorn

The Advent of our God

The Angel Gabriel


Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Chair

I hope that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.. We spent the day at my mother's with three of my children and their spouses and six grandchildren and my brother and his three daughters (two with husbands and one with a boyfriend) and his granddaughter and my son's mother-in-law. It was very nice. Six of the children are six and under which makes for a lively day. We went for nine years without a baby in the family and for a long time holidays were very quiet. I think it will be a long time before we can say this again.

This is my new chair.Even though all my children are grown and my husband and I are alone most of the time, it's been a very long time since I had a place where I could sit in uninterrupted quiet and pray or read or fall asleep in a chair. We've had this empty (of inhabitants) room for years, but there really wasn't anyplace comfortable to sit. There's a futon, but it's not very comfy. So, now my middle daughter has given me this wonderful chair, and I am extremely happy. I was so happy that I even dusted all of those books individually (there's a third bookshelf full) so my room would be perfect. And we also found that floor lamp, new in the box, at Goodwill. So, now I am set.

Here's a couple of nice pictures, the first was taken in my back yard, and the second was taken this week somewhere along the road. I don't remember exactly where or when.

I realize, of course, that some of you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, and I hope you had a nice day, too. 

Stefano Maderno's Martyrdom of St. Cecelia, (1599-1600), Church of St. Cecelia,  Rome
And may St. Cecelia intercede for us all on her feast day that we may have wonderful music in our parishes and the courage to die for Christ. I wonder if she looks at all those images that depict her playing an organ or violin and thinks, "How odd." Notice the fingers on the statue, three extended on the right hand and one on the left--three persons/one God.You can read more about the statue by clicking the link in the caption. You can read more about St. Cecelia here or here if you want the really complicated version.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Presentation of Mary and the Presentation of Mary Rebecca

Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple
Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary about which the Catholic Encyclopedia has to say:
The Protoevangel of James, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, and other apocryphal writings (Walker, "Apocryph. Gosp.", Edinburgh, 1873) relate that Mary, at the age of three, was brought by her parents to the Temple, in fulfillment of a vow, there to be educated.
Someone, maybe one of my daughters, asked me a while back where the names Joachim and Anne came from and the answer is that they came from the Protoevangelium of James. We don't know for certain that those were really their names, but it's nice that we should call them something and these names are as appropriate as anything. Anne means grace, which is fitting for the mother of she who was filled with grace, and the Catholic Encyclopedia says that Joachim means Yahweh prepares. Anne, of course, is still a popular name. I don't think I've ever met anyone named Joachim, nor have I ever read a book with a character by that name. It seems not to have been very popular, but I suspect it has risen from the ashes with the advent of Joaquin Phoenix.

These are the lyrics to the hymn that the website that I use for the Liturgy of the Hours chose for Morning Prayer today. It doesn't have anything in particular to do with today's feast, but it has lovely imagery. It's from an unattributed Medieval text.


Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the Heav’nly Way!
Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the Wheat-sheaf, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the Rose-Tree, Christ the Rose Blood-red!
Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the Temple, Christ the Temple’s Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother’s Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today is also the 25th birthday of my youngest daughter Mary Rebecca, whom we call Becca. I must say that it was very clever of her to be born on a day that was so aptly named.

I told her that I was going to use this picture and say that it says about all there is to say. Even when she was six, she did not suffer fools gladly. She does, however, have many fine qualities and we are very proud of her, and she is still cute.


On the Way Home From Mass

I've been on vacation this week and it's been really nice to get to go to daily Mass. Since I haven't been in a big hurry, I've been taking the long way home and I thought I'd share a couple of things I've seen along the way.

Need some extra money for Christmas?

Sorry this is so blurry, but I was shooting into the sun through my windshield. You can click and enlarge the picture if you can't read it.

You may remember this picture I posted a while back.

Apparently they thought better of that.

Notice, they still have a red square around the ampersand, but it's disappeared from the name.

I stopped at Walmart today to get a few things and I wondered why the heck they had a bunch of cattle gates in front of the store.

Then it hit me that they were going use them to herd the customers who will be standing in line for Black Friday.  You may draw your own conclusions from this.

That wasn't the only thing that hit me, and I hope you will appreciate the fact that I risked my life to bring you this picture. While I was standing in the parking lot trying to find a good angle to take the picture, I looked up and saw a young woman with a look of abject horror on her face yelling. Before I had a chance to  figure out what was going on, I felt a big thunk on my back. I'd been hit by a big van! Thankfully, I seem to be fine. I'm a bit sore and I'm not sure what my back will look like tomorrow, but that's about it. I feel worse for the poor driver than I do for myself. 

This happened after Mass. I had gone to the closer, earlier Mass in Hernando which is not my first choice of places to go, instead of the further away Mass in Southaven because I wanted to get home earlier than I got home yesterday and Monday. I stopped in Walmart where I spent an hour getting some food and buying Christmas presents. I got to the checkout counter and realized I had left my wallet sitting in front of the computer when I was buying presents yesterday. I had to beg them not to put the stuff back, but they finally agreed. So then I went out and got hit and then I drove 20 mins. home and 20 mins back and got the stuff and drove 20 minutes home! 

I have some other things to write about later today, but right now I'm hungry.


Sunday, November 18, 2012


A while back I wrote about the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella and how I've been wanting to make the pilgrimage for a long, long time. Well, since we have neither the time or the money to do so for a couple of years, and since I had absolutely no stamina after being sick for about 3 months last fall and winter, not to mention my three eye surgeries, we thought we could at least begin to prepare so we would be ready when the time came. So, a couple of months ago we started walking. It's sort of embarrassing to admit this, but at that time I could only walk ten minutes at a time, five minutes out and five minutes back, and it completely wore me out. When I started working in 2005, I used to walk 3 miles every day, so this was really discouraging. 

Still, we had fun. We tried to walk in lots of different places between work and home. That's a 40 mile trip, so there are lots of places to walk. We walked in the zoo, by the Mississippi, from the seminary where I work to the college where Bill works, around the Mississippi welcome center on I-55, around the square in Hernando, MS, and up and down our very hilly street. Today we walked 43 minutes, so that's a great improvement.

Grumpy wrote me once about the pilgrimage that it doesn't start in one definite place. Different people start in different places, some start at their front door. So, I got to thinking that while I couldn't go to Spain yet, I could start a pilgrimage here, and walk from home to my parish church. That's about 15 miles. There's no way I could walk that at one time, so we are walking it a bit at a time. We can't walk on days when we work, because it's twilight by the time that we get home, so we can only walk weekends and hopefully we'll get in a few days this week when I'm off work if Bill can come home early.

So far, we have walked three times and covered 4.4 miles. Bill drops me off at place we stopped the day before and I start walking.. He drives the car down the road a mile or so, and then walks back to meet me about halfway, and then we walk to the car together. When we reach the car, we walk about half as far as I think I can walk, then he walks back to get the car while I keep walking. It's nice this way because we have each other's company for half the walk, and I can pray the rosary on the other half, and I don't worry about being so far from home by myself. The thing I worry most about is dogs. So far, though, we've only met up with friendly ones. This one walked with us yesterday.

I really liked this dog. She looks like a mix between a german shepherd and a lab. I almost wish I could take her home with me.

One thing I wanted to do was pray at the cemeteries we pass. There's a whole lot of dead folks out here and since they are probably 99.9999999% protestant, they've been lying around for a long time with nobody to pray for them. I always pray when I pass them in the car, but this is kind of special. This is the closest one to my house. It's across the street from the church which was our stopping point on the first day.

Last Saturday, our first day, and this Saturday, we walked past a bunch of small farms.

Some of them still busy, others barely there.

Sunday, we walked through some bottomland that's the favorite place for hunting in our area. There are a lot of tributaries of the Cold water river running through it. Here's one.

And here's another.

This is the time of year when they are carting away bales of cotton, and the roadsides look like this.

Sometimes there's quite a lot. Once when the river had flooded around this time of year, when the water went down all the tree branches were ringed with bits of cotton like girls with wreaths of white flowers in their hair. When we were homeschooling, I always thought a good homeschool mother would take her kids out to gather a bunch of that cotton and take it home and card and spin it, but I was a low-energy homeschool mother and I worried about all the pesticides and defoliant that had been sprayed on it, too.

Well, that's all for now. I'll probably write some more as we progress. Pray for us to stick with it. Every day it's a struggle to get started. I'd hate to lose all the ground we've gained so far.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Even If He Will Not

Today's biblical reading in the Office of Readings is from Daniel 3. It's the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three young men who were saved from the fiery furnace. I've always loved this story, but today while I was reading it, something occurred to me that I've never thought of before. What must it have been like for the young men while they were in the furnace that was so hot that it consumed the men who threw them in. It must be a glorious adventure to be inside a fire. Flames are so beautiful when you see them from a distance, how much more intense and full of light would they be if you were inside. Maybe they were praising God, not just for delivering them, but for the privilege of seeing his beautiful creation in a way no one else ever had. 

I was also reminded that so many times when believers are persecuted, in Persia, in Babylon, in Rome, it's not because of the God they worship, it's because they refuse to worship the reigning gods. This, of course, was the crime of the three young men. Whoever chose the reading for today, for some reason left out my favorite part. When Nebuchadnezzar said to the men, "Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God that can deliver you out of my hands," they answered, "If our God whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us. But even if He will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you set up." I've thought about this passage many times when I had to face some scary situation where I had to do the right thing even though the consequences could be bad. It puts things in perspective. I've been thinking that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego might be good patrons for Catholics in the US these days. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I also want to mention St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Mother Cabrini, whose feast day is today, and who was responsible for founding many Catholic schools, orphanages and hospitals in the United States. I don't really have any idea of what has happened to all these foundations. I'm sure that some are defunct and some have passed into other hands. If any of them still belong to the Church, of course, they are now in danger of having to close. She would be another good intercessor for us. There's a nice article about her here.


Monday, November 12, 2012

More Photos from Tessa

I thought I'd take a break from writing today and share some more of my granddaughter's pictures with you. You should be able to enlarge the pictures by clicking on them. I especially recommend this with the first picture, so you can see all the patterns in the little swirls of smoke to the right.

And here are a couple of pictures I took so I could show you my middle granddaughter's bedtime reading.

Artist or Writer?

It's hard to take a picture of someone who never stops moving.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Providence, Smoke, and Faith

Photo credit: Teresa Love
I've been thinking about Maclin's comment on the Providence post and instead of responding there, I decided to respond in a new post. What Maclin said was:
[L]ooking at it from the broader historical perspective, I keep thinking of the English Reformation, of Henry's break with the Church, etc. All providential, we have to believe and trust. Yet the whole of British civilization was lost to the faith then, and has never returned, with profound consequences to the whole world, considering the reach of British influence. I'm not suggesting that that means it wasn't providential, only that the ultimate purpose remains hidden, even after all this time.
Well, that's true, and I doubt any of us will ever know the answer to that dilemma in this life. It reminds me of Aslan saying that he never tells anyone any story but his own, or God's oblique response to Job. We just don't know. We don't. And he won't tell us, but He asks us to trust Him anyway in much the same way that he asks the disciples in John, "Do you also want to leave?" Either He has the words of eternal life, or He doesn't.

I was thinking about this in Mass this morning when I heard the readings about the two women who gave everything they had. That's what God asks of us all--everything. It's not just our possessions. He wants our senses, our affections, and our faculties: memory, will, understanding, intellect, the whole lot of it. We have to throw everything into the pot, and not hedge our bets, or keep anything back for a rainy day. 

One of the hardest of these things for me to surrender is my intellect, because in my own image of myself, that is what defines me. It's where I excel--what I like best about myself. I want to understand. I want to know. I want to be able to explain things to myself and to everybody else. When some concept, like the suffering of the innocent comes up, I want to find the book that lays out the answer for me. I think it's a sort of intellectual shirking to let it go and trust God to know what He's about. "Other, more naive people can just blindly accept this difficulty, but I'm more demanding than that."

There are a couple of problems with this, the first being that I am demanding something of myself that I can never deliver. I will never be able to understand more than a sort of Janet-sized portion of Who God is and what He is doing. It's ridiculous to throw my intellect up against the "infintely perfect Being Who made all things and keeps them in existence." The second is that I'm demanding something of God that He knows I don't need, that would probably harm me if I had it. Also, I'm putting Reason before Faith, and that's a fatal mistake. I'm not a child of the Enlightenment; I'm a child of God. I can't always reason things out, but I can always choose to believe and to trust.

I think that it's a mistake to let ourselves get too much caught up in these unanswerable conundrums. They can paralyze us. While our minds are running around and around in an inescapable maze, we miss whatever it is that the Lord is asking us to do. We don't have time for that. There's too much at stake.

Our perceptions in life are often similar to the picture above. Sometimes the smoke is so thick that we can't see the flames underneath. Sometimes the world is so cold that we can't even feel the heat, but the fire still burns.


And I just have to say that my granddaughter is one amazing photographer.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Week Late . . .

Every year, EVERY year, I miss the feast day of St. Martin de Porres, who is my favorite saint. So, of course, this year I missed it again. I go to Mass about 45 Saturdays out of the year, but last Saturday, November 3, St. Martin's feast day, I decided not to go, and that's really too bad because there is a very nice shrine to St. Martin in Memphis and I could have gone to Mass there. 

One reason I love St. Martin so much is because of his great humility. When he first entered his monastery, he didn't ask to be a lay brother, but only a helper, or servant, although after a while the prior ordered him to become a lay brother. When the monastery was in financial difficulty, he asked them to sell him into slavery to get the money they needed. Thankfully, his request was denied, but his willingness to give of himself completely never ceases to touch and amaze me.

Another reason I love him is his hospitality, but there is more to it than that, and the more is something that I can't really explain because I don't understand it myself. I have just always been drawn to him.

St. Martin had a lot in common with President Obama. As you probably know, he was of mixed race and his father was only with the family for short periods of Martin's life. So, when the president was elected for the first time, I thought that St. Martin would be the perfect saint to intercede for him. For the past four years, my husband and I have said a novena to St. Martin for Obama over and over again, praying one day each morning that we ride to work together, which is most mornings. We say some other prayers and the rosary first, and usually get to this novena about the same time we reach the expressway. We usually finish about the time we get to the field I described in my poem the other day. It's the one that fills up like a bowl with fog. We call this St. Martin's Field.

I find most novenas to be a bit irksome in the way the prayers are written and this one is no exception, but that's okay. That's just another little something to offer up. I've put a link to a page with this novena on the sidebar, and another page with the Prayer of St. John Fisher for bishops, which I posted when the HHS Mandate first entered on the scene.


P.S. This post was originally called, "A Day Late . . . ." I need to find the patron saint of procrastination.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Since last December, or maybe January, I have been in a spiritual formation program developed by Fr. Santan Pinto, SOLT, called Disciples of Jesus and Mary. The program centers around five fairly simple principles, the first of which is "Nothing happens accidentally but everything is gifted providentially." I think this sounds deceptively simple, but when you start trying to apply it to everything you find that a great deal of trust is needed.

This concept wasn't really new to me because years ago I cobbled together a variety of things I'd read and heard and figured out that whatever was going on in my life at any given moment was something that God knew about and that He had allowed to happen and that He knew I needed. Now, I don't always, or even usually, accept these things in this spirit, especially when I am in the middle of them, but usually when things (meaning when I) calm down, I can see that it's really true, that Romans 8 isn't just a nice platitude. And when I occasionally manage to remember this in the heat of the moment, it transforms that difficult moment into a channel of grace.

Then several months ago, I came across a passage in Caryll Houselander that said that the events of our lives are not just gifts that Jesus sends us, but indeed, they are Jesus Himself. Since I read that, and since I have been trying to be always aware of the Hidden Christ, I am more and more conscious of the presence of Jesus everywhere and of the providential gifts that are hidden in our everyday lives.

So, it was easy for me to go to bed early on Tuesday night before I knew the results of the election, even though I knew that if Obama won, a variety of difficult and, I will even say evil, things might be in store for me and those I love, and for my beloved Church. I was entirely peaceful when I got up Wednesday morning and found out what those results were because I believe that they are providential. I believe that they are Jesus coming to us--not as the Glorious Conqueror, but bruised and bleeding and asking us to go where He has been.

Many people have been talking about "What we did wrong," and "What we need to do next," but I think that largely I will do exactly what I have been doing. I am trying consciously to live the best Catholic life I can, and I believe that before anything else, this is the most important thing we can do. I will trying to add bit by bit to the prayers I say and try to get to Mass more often. I'll try to let Christ in me be present to those around me. And then maybe I will have other duties as assigned.

A couple of things that have been running through my mind for the last 24 hours are this:

"But you and all the kind of Christ Are ignorant and brave,
 And you have wars you hardly win
 And souls you hardly save.

 "I tell you naught for your comfort,
 Yea, naught for your desire,
 Save that the sky grows darker yet
 And the sea rises higher.

 "Night shall be thrice night over you,
 And heaven an iron cope.
 Do you have joy without a cause,
 Yea, faith without a hope?"
                       from The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton

The whole thing is here.

And this:


I hear in my heart, I hear in its ominous pulses,
All day, on the road, the hoofs of invisible horses,
All night, from their stalls, the importunate pawing and neighing.

Let cowards and laggards fall back! But alert to the saddle
Weatherworn and abreast, go men of our galloping legion,
With a stirrup-cup each to the lily of women that loves him.

The trail is through dolor and dread, over crags and morasses,
There are shapes by the way, there are things that appeal or entice us.
What odds? We are Knights of the grail, we are vowed to the riding.

Thoughts's self is a vanishing wing, and joy is a cobweb,
And friendship a flower in the dust, and glory a sunbeam
Not here is our prize, nor, alas! after these our pursuing.

A dipping of plumes, a tear, a shake of the bridle,
A passing salute to this world and her pitiful beauty,
We hurry with never a word in the track of our fathers.

I hear in my heart, I hear in its ominous pulses,
All day, on the road, the hoofs of invisible horses,
All night, from their stalls, the importunate pawing and neighing.

We spur to a land of no name, outracing the storm-wind,
We leap to the infinite dark like sparks from the anvil.
Thou leadest, O God! All's well with Thy troopers that follow.

                                                        Louise Imogen Guiney

I really like this poem, but I have yet to find anybody else that's very enthusiastic about it. I think it's because although I look like a dumpy housewife, this is who I really am.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Place in Time

This came today.

Wendell Berry's first new fiction in six years. I meant to mention in the post about Hannah Coulter that it had just been published. It's twenty stories about the Port William membership. I'm really excited.

What I've been doing lately instead of writing.


That's my middle granddaughter. I figured a faceless picture would be okay with her mother.

Going to the zoo. We have a great zoo.

Right before I took this picture, four martial arts experts fought a battle to the death. You should have seen them leaping through the air, flying over the top of the buildings. The girl with the long sword was really great. Unfortunately, by the time I got my phone out of my purse, it was all over.

I tried to get this guy to speak parseltongue to me, but no luck. He is much larger than he looks in this picture. I wish there was some close to judge the scale by. That hand is a good ways in front of the cage, so it gives a deceptive idea of the difference. I doubt he could get his hand halfway around the snake.

These guys had such a good time that they obviously stayed too long.

Visiting my other daughter in Normal, IL, where I found out that there's hope for churches built in the mid-sixties if somebody decides to take on the challenge.

This window is in the adoration chapel. I posted a picture of the chapel in the Hannah Coulter post.

I just found out that you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

I'd tell you about my weekend, but I don't think my trip to the grocery store was very interesting.