April 16, 2012

This & That....

Beautiful, freshly ladled sun streams in through the company lobby window. I'm in that New Grange-ian, equinoxical spot where the sun is at the perfect angle to fully bathe my face and body. Soon it will traverse behind another building and fractionalize. The strong sun (if not cool temps) presages the coming summer, with all its contrasting summery moods. If the summer casts down greater light it also, at the same time, casts greater shadow.... Perhaps a good time for a vacation is when, unbidden, one recalls the previous one with nostalgia and longing. I was thinking today about Sanibel and the meals at Jerry's and the windblown air and the James Wolcott memoir on the sun-glinting beach. I also think about that contractor fellow in Cancun who said he goes for a week at that resort every three months. Now that's a schedule I could live with. It's going on five months since I last had one of those charismatical 7-day beach vacations.

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Really liking Fr. Gaitley's Consoling the Heart of Jesus. The Good News is good indeed.  Catch more bees with honey, and so I'm counting it as coming from God despite the risks inherent in emphasizing mercy (i.e. the risk of a lukewarmness towards sin).  It sort of rearranges one's mental furniture: Gaitley argues his case like a efficient lawyer, carefully laying down the principle that Christ, though in Heaven, is still somehow able to receive and even "need" consolation.  Gaitley's brilliant in explaining that it's about Him, about how God really wants our trust. Instead of thinking I must trust God for my own sake, he turns it around and says we should trust God for His!

Gaitley doesn't ignore the cross, but sees it as more bittersweet than simply bitter (with trust in God and his help). We need not be petrified of suffering. Certainly he "sells" Christianity much more than, say, Flannery O'Connor, who scoffed about those who look at Christianity as an "insurance policy". I am very much attracted to the Divine Mercy and so I should go with that, just as before I was more attracted to a certain tough-minded Christianity exemplified by Cardinal Ratzinger and Flannery O'Connor.

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The Byzantine liturgy Sunday was pretty long, given a Baptism. A moment that lingers was the rolling out of the Shroud of Turin, actual-size, which is very big indeed. You look at the whole thing and think, "this really isn't of this earth, is it?"  Who would design such a thing? Especially given this? The pastor is a special fan of the Shroud and reminds us to remember it if we ever doubt like Doubting Thomas.  Seeing it, I recalled how Jesus said even if a man should rise some won't believe.  Even with this miraculous material cloth (like that of the Guadalupe tilma), some materialists won't believe. 

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Oh it's been so long since I've been to what is infelicitously called a "brick and mortar" bookstore, as if what distinguished those marvelous places were the bricks and not the books.  Went to the Village Bookshop in quaint Linworth, where I drank in the restful atmospherics for an hour while tasting of a Samuel Johnson biography and ended up buying "Library: The Drama Within". It felt vacation-y to be among those rich stacks. Despite my conversion to the e-reading, I was determined to buy a couple and do my microscopic part to keep these sorts of bookstores in business. 

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