Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Over the Bent World.

The children ate their biscuits and drank their milk and the stormcock sang, and Mary thought, "I will remember about this rainbow place. When my own particular experience seems dark and hard I'll remember that it's really a shining thing holding like a flower to the branches of the tree, and that I travel in it, like Cinderella in her coach, to the ending of the days. And up above me in the tree the Seraph sings, and sometimes he sings peace for us and sometimes courage, praise, truth, love, death, but he is always the same Seraph. Who is he? On Mount Alverno St. Francis saw a great crucified Seraph above him, filling the heavens. I'll remember.                                                                                                  The Rosemary Tree, Elizabeth Goudge 


Monday, July 6, 2015

I Want Him to Be in Heaven With Me

Alessandro Serenelli
It is almost impossible to find a picture of St. Maria Gorretti that isn't sappy, so instead I've chosen one of her murderer. This is Alessandro Serenelli, who, at the age of 19 in an attempt to rape the eleven year old Maria, stabbed her 14 times. As he was stabbing her she cried, "No. It is a sin. God forbids it! You will go to hell!" She seems to have been more concerned about his ultimate fate than her danger. Later when she was dying, and was asked if she forgave him she said, "Yes! Yes! For the love of Jesus, I forgive him, and I want him to be with me one day in heaven!" Years later, she appeared to him in his cell; he was converted, and went on to live an exemplary Christian life. I seem to remember that there has been talk of his canonization. You can read more here.

The reason that I wanted to write this today is because of the SCOTUS decision. I've been pretty quiet about it because I don't think I have much to say that I think is helpful. Then, when I noticed that is was the feast of St. Maria Goretti today, I started thinking about her focus on the one important thing. 

I wish that there were some way to let people know that the reason that we oppose this decision is not because we hate, or are afraid, but because we want them all to be in Heaven with us. I surely do not know how to accomplish this. I may have some work to do on myself before I can say that honestly, but it's necessary work. It's hard, sometimes, to keep from looking at how things affect me, rather than what I'm being asked to do. I only hope that whenever I find myself face-to-face with someone who disagrees with me about the decision, I can look at them and think how much I really want that person to be in Heaven with me.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Nothing Like Us Ever Was

Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind
Carl Sandburg 

The past is a bucket of ashes. 


 The woman named Tomorrow
 sits with a hairpin in her teeth
 and takes her time
 and does her hair the way she wants it
 and fastens at last the last braid and coil
 and puts the hairpin where it belongs
 and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?
 My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.
 What of it? Let the dead be dead.


 The doors were cedar
 and the panels strips of gold
 and the girls were golden girls
 and the panels read and the girls chanted:
  We are the greatest city,
  the greatest nation:
  nothing like us ever was.

 The doors are twisted on broken hinges.
 Sheets of rain swish through on the wind
 where the golden girls ran and the panels read:
  We are the greatest city,
  the greatest nation,
  nothing like us ever was.


 It has happened before.
 Strong men put up a city and got
  a nation together,
And paid singers to sing and women
 to warble: We are the greatest city,
   the greatest nation,
   nothing like us ever was.

 And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened
and paid the singers well
and felt good about it all,
 there were rats and lizards who listened
  … and the only listeners left now
  … are … the rats … and the lizards.

 And there are black crows
 crying, “Caw, caw,"
 bringing mud and
sticks building a
nest over the words
carved on the doors where the panels were cedar
and the strips on the panels were gold
and the golden girls came singing:
 We are the greatest city,
 the greatest nation:
 nothing like us ever was.

The only singers now are crows crying, “Caw, caw,"
And the sheets of rain whine in the wind and doorways.
And the only listeners now are … the rats … and the lizards.

The feet of the rats
scribble on the door sills;
the hieroglyphs of the rat footprints
chatter the pedigrees of the rats
and babble of the blood
and gabble of the breed
of the grandfathers and the great-grandfathers
of the rats.

And the wind shifts
and the dust on a door sill shifts
and even the writing of the rat footprints
tells us nothing, nothing at all
about the greatest city, the greatest nation
where the strong men listened
and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was.