It’s a brown day today. A cool mist hangs over the world, at least in my neighborhood. Were the trees now in bud, leafed fully out, their limbs would be moaning, bowing under the burden of all the water they’d had poured over them since about seven P.M. last night. I was awakened once or twice during the night with a fury of rain beating on the roof and windows, a flood pouring through the downspout; and all this without high winds and the storms moans and roarings through the trees that high winds always bring. Just now a short burst of a shower has beat like a million small fists against the window in the room where I’m sitting typing. I can see the little birds huddled close to the tree trunks in the lee of the brief fit the rain’s having. And, I feel a bit sorry for them, though, I guess, they don’t know as I would know, the misery of being caught in a cold, soaking rain.
There’s the burden of consciousness; well one of them, anyway. I could write a book about some of the others, but, that’s already been done. As a matter of fact, it’s probably been done too much. This day itself has a lot to say about that, I think.
It’s Good Friday today. Mariellen, my beloved wife, just told me that there’s a hard boiled egg in the fridge if I want to eat something, but I’m not hungry. Funny as this may sound, I don’t think I will be hungry at all today. Though I don’t feel ill. Enough of my friends are ill if it makes any difference. And, if I get hungry I’ll do what a Catholic kid’s supposed to do, “offer it up”, just like the nuns told us to do all those decades ago. I may have ruined it a bit, what good the offering may bring to the world around , by mentioning this to you who read. The point of it all is to do it without letting anyone know it, anyone but God, of course. Let whatever happens, whatever might happen be between me and Him.
Why then did I mention it? I really don’t know beyond occasionally wondering whether or not there are still folks who remember, and remembering still do things like that; silly little things; grains of sand which become mountains.
And, how can that matter beside what was done on this day a little less than 2,000 years ago? Lots of folks, perhaps most of them, would laugh at my hunger making any difference anywhere in the Great Boarding House of the Universe. Let ’em. I believe Sister Mary Holy Picture’s words as if they came from the mouth of God Himself. Which, not to put too fine a point on it, they did.
She, and a million women like her came and went in their black robes, and men, too, and now lie in the wet earth prayed for, to be sure, but anonymous to be more sure, and silent. Unmourned here. In another place, blessed. There’s a lesson there, I suppose, and books have been written.
Today, perhaps, they won’t be read. And what they did, what they said, what they taught, what they believes in? Like the birds, silent, huddling in the cold rain… The door home is being opened.
Here is a poem I wrote this morning while I have been thinking things like that.
To Be Famous at Home
“God Is Not Famous Here!”
Reading a thick, black book of scholarship
I thought of misperception, false impression,
Fancy, fashion, the attitudes they breed,
And truth, lost, outgrown or thrown away.
No slave of fashion am I, nor can I be.
My children, first of all, would not let me.
I am a humble man. So says my good
Friend to all we meet going on our way.
This truth embarrasses me nonetheless.
I would never appear in public on my town’s main street
In my vested suit (did I own one)like some TV star;
Without a tie and rather whitened teeth.
Causing folks to stare, gape, amazed as I strode by
A cut above them, wearing fame’s mantle.
I would hide were it in any way true.
The truth is, the worst truth, they wouldn’t care;
Murmuring among themselves cruelties,
Disbelief and mockeries, the common
Jealousies, blind refusals to believe.
I could play a lofty man, Olympian,
Only when alone in some strange place
Where none will ever recognize my face
I’d wear worn old tweeds, faded dungarees
Perhaps with hand sewn patches at the knees.
And until I spoke..unless..none would know.
There I’d give out discreet bits of mercy
I would have made with my own hands, ribboned
With the truth about the world the poor know
Who only own the sky, the river’s wide
Wild run down to the ocean deep and blue
And their tired eyes, bruised hearts, aching feet.
I have almost finished this thick black book
Whose bibliography’s a book itself
While rich men, rich women run everywhere
Pleading for support and help from everyone.
While rich men and women speak their rich words
Promising the brown brink eastward will dawn
The best day seen because they’ll make it so.
Light will shine on us, light we call our own.
Sun once risen will never more go down.
Millions chase them, eat, drink their promises.
Across the wide land one walks nearly alone
Who has the world again, and again, gone
Round with the same gifts to give quietly
On a bright day or a brown day. To all
Whom he may meet he softly speaks, sweetly
Smiles the dawn and the stars at night and peace
That surpasses all our understanding.
At this time of year, when at least here wakes
New life; today, in fact, we will kill him,
Have killed him over, and over whose truth
We can’t believe. They say, “It’s just not true!”
They say, “‘Isn’t he the carpenter’s son?”
March 25, 2016
One Minute Meditations
Don’t be afraid of death. Accept it from now on, generously… when God wills it, where God wills it, as God wills it. Don’t doubt what I say: it will come in the moment, in the place and in the way that are best: sent by your Father-God. Welcome be our sister death!
– St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, #739
Scripture Verse of the Day
This God–his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Life in Christ: Catechism #2186
Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.
The language is Latin.