Thursday, April 28, 2022

losing a friend

 A month ago, my friend Cyndi called - I hadn't heard from her for a while; we hadn't exchanged Christmas and birthday gifts, and I couldn't get replies to any emails. She told me she had pancreatic cancer. They gave her two weeks. 

I was stunned for a week. At least. She passed away on Monday. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon her, and may she rest in peace. Amen.

Around fifteen years ago, her beloved brother Bob died in his sleep - he was in his fifties. Four years ago her husband who had severe MS, shot himself at home, while she was there. She had to deal with the horror of that for a while. 

We were friends for almost fifty years. It's going to take a while to get used to.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

the Easter challenge

" In the risen Christ, wounded and glorified, we see all our hopes realized. In him all the wounds of our hearts, minds, and bodies are transformed into his holiness. The sorrow and pain of our lives are made the source of our sanctification and joy."

        -  from Magnificat, April 2022

"Everything was different - and so it has to be for us. ..The religious instinct in every person, perhaps, in our time, is beginning to awaken. Who can tell them where to find the truth but those who belong to the Christian community which believes in Christ who died and rose from the dead?"

"Easter challenges us each year..Death is not for us the end of the story. It is the beginning of a new chapter. ..The purpose of our present life is to prepare for that....Life matters...When we know pain or depression, when we feel abandoned, or when we are dying, we remember that Christ had the same experiences. Our suffering brings us closer to Christ and closer to God."

                          -  Cardinal Basil Hume, The Mystery of the Cross

Monday, April 18, 2022

"fearful, yet overjoyed"

 Easter was so lovely this year. I mean, it was too cool - not even fifty degrees - but bright and sunny,   just very Easter-ish. And I was able for once to go to all the services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and that's enough to really draw you into the whole experience of the death and resurrection of the Lord. It was terrific.

Meanwhile, I decided to make a favorite veggie lasagna for a change, and after puzzling over what to have for dessert, I remembered the Polish lady had made a babka for us with icing on it, so I defrosted it and served it along with some chocolates we had left over from Christmas. That was plenty! An easy dinner. I like fussing, but I need to be realistic and use what we've got. 

This image is on the current cover of Magnificat, and I like it -

The Maries at the Sepulchre, imitator of Andrea Mantegna

"Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed".*

 Yes, I'm sure they were.

*Matthew 28:8

Sunday, April 17, 2022


Rise, heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays

- George Herbert

Human language falls silent before the mystery of resurrection.
Only one word remains to us: 
from Magnificat

"The sun arising in the East, 
Though he give light, and th'East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume."
- Geo. Herbert

Friday, April 15, 2022

"the seed of divine life"

 "It is finished; the work is done. ..There will still be wars, famines, earthquakes, and other kinds of suffering too, which come in the wake of sin. Mental anguish, anxiety, loss of reason are still part of human living, but now different. He has hidden in human pain the seed of divine life. Hope is now hidden in human despair, joy concealed in human sadness. Anguish, anxiety, the ravages of war and famine - all hide within themselves a rich reward, a precious treasure - life hidden with Christ in God for the sharers in his passion."

                                                     -      Cardinal Basil Hume

Crucified Expiring Jesus, by Zurbaran

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Ash Wednesday is not the norm

April 12th and tonight I showered with the window wide open - what a pleasure! It's just going down into the forties now. 

I am preoccupied lately, and find it hard to come here and say something. So I read now and then, and share when it speaks to me. 

"One Ash Wednesday I was motoring up the A1 on my way to give a lecture. Intending to listen to the news, I turned on the radio and heard with joy the familiar strains of Allegri's Miserere. It was quite beautiful. Unfortunately, reception was marred by my having to pass under a series of bridges, and you know how that acts like a dam in the flow of the music.
  Such music and song, superbly performed, raises the spirit and lifts the thoughts into a world of pure beauty where it is good to rest and just be there. Experiences like this are happy reminders that the journey through life, often dull and monotonous like driving on a motorway, is tolerable if the end of the journey will bring happiness and fulfillment. They are pleasant reminders, too, that Ash Wednesday is not the norm. Easter Sunday is."

                                            - Cardinal Basil Hume, from The Mystery of the Cross

Thursday, April 7, 2022

nearing the end of Lent

I see more clearly every day that our contemporary society has, as it were, to begin all over again. In our religious thinking we have lost too much, and we must needs rediscover the central part which Christ must play in the lives of each one of us. 

We have, perhaps, tried to cross the waters relying too much on ourselves alone. Darkness has fallen, and Jesus has not yet come back to us. Meanwhile, there is a strong wind blowing, and the sea is beginning to grow rough. Maybe, if we look hard enough, we shall see him coming towards us, walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. That might be a frightening experience until we hear him say: It is I. Do not be afraid.

Then we shall take him on board willingly enough; and all at once our boat will reach the land we were making for, that land where deep calls to deep. That is where God's love meets man's, and no matter what cataracts roar, or what waves and breakers roll, we shall know that we are safe, held and led to that heaven which is the vision of the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

                                                -  from The Mystery of the Cross, by Cardinal Basil Hume

Monday, April 4, 2022

singing together

 I was going through some old magazines before passing them on. I found this:

"America is a tune. It must be sung together."   -  Gerald Stanley Lee