Posted by: Peadar Ban | August 2, 2013

Today: August 2, 2013

Right now a chickadee, or is it a titmouse, peeps or squeaks in the tree outside.  I am never sure if its high pitched flat sounding call is a song or a complaint, if it scolds or sings.  But, I like them anyway.  They fly from the perches to the feeder, grab a seed and run right back to cover, eat and repeat until breakfast is done.

Birds I don’t like are starlings and grackles: messy ruffians, hoodlum birds, avian mongol hordes, feathered locusts.

I put out some food for the woodpeckers and blue jays yesterday, the nuts and seeds they both like.  I added a little cage filled with peanuts in the shell.  Both the jays and the woodpeckers like the same things I’ve found.  One of the most amusing sights around this time of year in the backyard are the fledgling jays, the teenagers we call them, trying to figure out how to get the food from the feeder, the peanuts from the cage and out of the shell.  But, they persist, often with Mom or Dad perched nearby watching.

Parents and children could learn from watching the young birds’ efforts and their elder’s oversight, I think.  Practice does make perfect.

When my wife came down this morning she informed me that there was something of a grackle invasion taking place in the backyard.  “I have never seen so many of them before,” she said.  I was reading something I should have read fifty years ago when it was assigned and hadn’t been paying any attention.  While I read, I listened to Verdi’s Requiem.  Fifty years ago it might have been Chuck Berry.  I knew she was telling me something.  I saw her lips move. So I took out the ear plugs and begged her to repeat her news.

Well, I didn’t beg her to do anything. I just looked over at her standing in the doorway, and she repeated herself.  “I guess I should take down the peanuts and stuff, ” I said.  She smiled, sweetly, and nodded her agreement.

I limped outside where the grackles glowered and then flew away, the cowards.  Then I took away the feeder and the nut cage.  Walking back I was scolded by a jay.  It had been waiting high in one of the old oaks for its turn.  Looking up toward where I thought he might be, still yelling at me, I shrugged my shoulders, and thought, “Tell it to city hall.  I’m only doing my job.”

The streets are dry from last night’s gentle rain.  It must have been gentle, because we weren’t awakened by the noise a thunderstorm or heavy rain would make.  But the grass is still wet.  That means the lawn will not get mowed today.  I must find out who I should thank for that small favor; which saint among the company of the blessed is the patron of guys like me, guys who pray for rain when the lawn needs mowing.

Oh, I’ll find other things to do for sure.  Weeding is always a good way to spend an hour or more outside, weeding and thinking, and occasionally praying.

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Saint of the Day

St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)
Peter was a Marist priest and provincial whose life was centered upon the Eucharist. He founded several congregations and societies that focused on honoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. A prolific writer, he wrote four volumes on the Eucharist alone.

Reflections from the Saints

How kind is our Sacramental Jesus! He welcomes you at any hour of the day or night. His Love never knows rest. He is always most gentle towards you. When you visit Him, He forgets your sins and speaks only of His joy, His tenderness, and His Love. By the reception He gives to you, one would think He has need of you to make Him happy.

– St. Peter Julian Eymard

Scripture Verse of the Day

1 Peter 2:2-3

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Life in Christ: Catechism #2355

Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.

When I worked for a living I encountered prostitutes and people who made use of them.  Never far from both of them were wingless grackles, sleek and sinister; ones you could see and ones you could only sense were there.

One Minute Meditations

Work
I was convinced by that priest who is a friend of ours. He was talking about his apostolic work, and he assured me that there are no tasks of little importance. Hidden under this garden covered in roses, he said, is the silent effort of so many souls who with their work and prayer, their prayer and work, have won from Heaven abundant showers of grace, which makes everything fertile. – St. Josemaria Escriva

I like this little meditation of St. Josemaria’s.  Nothing is wasted.  Nothing is so little it does not matter.  Everything matters.  Everything is rewarded.

This really is a nice place, even with grackles in it

Here is a piece of music that always reminds me of sheepfolds, and the mighty yet gentle Shepherd:

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