Archive for April 2012

WOW! LOOK WHERE I AM! (a good shock #2)

April 29, 2012

Wow!  Look where I am!”    So said I when I woke up after my first full night at home.    When I woke up, my eyes were filled with the surprisingly familiar pattern of trees just outside my window.     What a wonderful feeling to have finally made it “home.”

Not my familiar hotel room.   Not my familiar pretty blue Car of Safety.     Home home.    Here it is:

I think I’ve posted this a little while ago,  but I just wanted to see this again.

It was nice to see all the others who live here too.  Ducks doing what ducks do in the Spring:

My goldfinch friends visiting (when they’re not doing what goldfinches do in the Spring):

And the goldfish are happy and busy being goldfish this Spring:

 (Will try to get a brighter photo later this year, at our annual Father’s Day Goldfish Addition ceremony. …)

So, that first morning that I woke up, surprised to be home,  and this afternoon, when I woke up in the daytime again, surprised and delighted to still be home,   is a good kind of shock to the system, one which can be called delight.

Delight in just the wonderful feeling of familiarity and belonging of everyday life.

Delight and happiness and reasons for little smiles — all these are little “hooks”  that God uses to lift up our hearts to Him in gratitude.

 

 

Advertisements

SHOCK #1

April 26, 2012

For the past eight or so days,  this has been  the window I looked out from several times a day:

That’s from my fifth floor hotel room.  It was cool and quiet inside.  I’ve been dashing from air conditioning to air conditioning lately, trying to shield myself from the blazing sun and heat of Florida as I helped my Dad with all his business.  And each time I came back to my own room,  I looked out over that expressway which would some day take me home….ahhhhhh.

And it  did.    From 80 and 90 degree days all the way up north to…..40 degrees right now, with a strong, penetrating wind.

I must be Home.

DOING THE BEACH

April 24, 2012

Sure,  I did the beach a little bit.  A very little bit.

It’s not what I came here for,  but I made a couple quick trips just to feel the water, walk on the sand, hear the birds, feel the pounding waves.

I started out with a tribute to Hubbie who always enjoyed coming to this particular beach.    I did what he would have done:

(and I don’t mean litter!)    Hubbie left me with a Coldstone gift  card, and since there was a Coldstone on the beach,  I decided to wander in and see if there was any value left in the card.   There was.   So I bought a little ice cream in a “Baby Bowl,” as they called it, a little cone in a cup filled with strawberry ice cream.

Now,  I don’t usually choose strawberry.  I just felt like I had to do it.   That was Hubbie’s favorite flavor.

Then I sat down with it and stared out into the waves and let my mind drift away to other times.

I was watching some young men in the water with surf boards.  Evidently this part of Florida is not known for its surfing.   The young men were shameless beginners.    One paddled his surfboard into the waves, and each wave lifted him up and tumbled him and his board  over and over and over……and he tried it again and again.   Maybe he thought he’d eventually get the right angle and be able to stand up,  but I don’t think he ever got good at the “angles.”

The other young man stood in ankle deep water,  climbed onto his surfboard, and then waited for the wave to raise him up and float him away.   Never did work out for him.    When the waves came they always lifted up his board, clunked him on the head with it and then  he and his  board fought it out until the foaming surf subsided.

Maybe one of them owned this truck in a nearby parking lot:

It must be a great deal harder than it looks.

WORTH A LITTLE “HUMOR”

April 24, 2012

They’re worth it!

I figured they wouldn’t mind if I send you their photos.   They’re the reason I’m down here in Florida…..Here they are,   just so happy to be together   (and I’m lucky to have them):

Mom is happy now.  Well-taken care of.   She’s eating.   She’s well-groomed.   She can walk again.   She knows her husband,  and I’m pretty sure she connected me to some of the old photos I took in for her to see.    She says words now and even spoke one full sentence!    She won’t remember me today,  but that’s all right.  We’ll start again from the beginning….

And there’s my Dad, in his wheelchair, somewhat oblivious to the fact that he has no legs.    His mind is 110% on his music;  his guitar;  his recorded music;  his band;  his….well, you  get it.   Makes it easier for him, I suppose.   Having no legs is a minor inconvenience, because he still has all his fingers for playing his guitar

So, yesterday — and today —  I am in the midst of all the paper work and regulations that keep them going.

Yesterday’s posting had the cartoon paperwork.    This is the real thing.  I think there were fifteen pages in my notebook covered with information like this.    We have really only four places to go today, and if no one office takes too long we can fit it all in.

We’re almost done.   And those parents of mine are worth it!

Hope you’ll excuse  the sardonic humor of yesterday.   You know my favorite form of humor is hyperbole;  and also absurdity.    When I was a child, my favorite cartoon character was Mr. Mum  (The Strange World of Mr. Mum)   I enjoyed the absurdity he came across in his cartoon world….I just didn’t know I’d be living in it myself as I grew older!

Enjoy!

What happens when a tow truck gets a flat tire?

Angels – caught “having some fun”

Babies,  eager to enter the world!

And, of course,  I can relate to this one!!

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

April 23, 2012

Me:

In over my head.   

 Lost:

I’m following everyone’s insructions:

My “gray matter”  has turned into this:

 

And today, just when things were coming together and we were getting everything in place,   and this would be my last night here in Florida and I could go home tomorrow morning….just when everything was going well….

…is it malevolence?    is it Original Sin?      is it just merely criminal?  

…then my Dad,  double amputee,  nearly blind, with a lot of courage but little experience with a society that has deteriorated,  made a wrong turn on the telephone today and became Victim #5,321,478,242.

Someone got ahold of his bank account information, and now we have to close his accounts and open new ones and inform everyone who has ever been remotely connected with those accounts.     That means at least six trips here and there, picking up various documents, getting them copied and delivered to the correct offices, in and out of the car with a wheelchair all those times, and then, if everyone is happy,  if we’ve been told the correct information,   the state of Florida will be happy,  the local bank will be happy,  and the federal government who is the author of all these requirements may  — may — be happy.

Yes, sorry,  I know I’m grousing.     I know some day I’ll look back and smile at all the work we had to do and the successful conclusion we achieved,  but for right now,  we’re still in the midst of “all the work.”       Maybe for just another 24 hours…..

TISSUE PAPER LIVING

April 21, 2012

Kind of nice to walk into your hotel  bathroom and see this.

It’s just ordinary tissue.  Kleenex kind of tissues.

But someone folded the top one into a flower.      And I rather appreciated it.

  I guess we could go through life with ordinary tissues from a pop-up box, leaving our used ones lying around like so much debris — or we could go through life seeing and doing things of beauty.

In David Copperfield, which our Book  Club recently discussed,  one young lady was described as having an air of serenity and peace through which her beauty shined out to others.   It was like, says Dickens, she stood always in light reflected through a stained glass window, quietly radiant and lovely.

The lovely lady in David Copperfield, and this tissue flower in my bathroom, both prepared me to receive these words written by Elisabeth LeSeur about a hundred years ago:  (She is resolving to be a better disciple of Christ and states “I will bear witness to Him whose humble disciple I am.”  And then: “By the serenity and strength that I mean to acquire I will prove that the Christian life is great and beautiful and full of joy.” *

I am here, far away from home,  amidst troubles.   There is  not too much I can do to help, to sort out endless bureaucratic papers,  to calm frazzled nerves, to relieve family pressures, to totally refurbish a house to make it livable again — to make it easier for my Dad to live without his legs,   to comfort my Mom who doesn’t know me anymore,  to…retrieve my two lost sisters….to heal, to soothe, to encourage….

But I think of Elisabeth, now,  my “elder sister” in Christ who lived long ago,  and I put her words before me:   to prove that the Christian life is great and beautiful and full of joy.   

So I think we can all relate to those Kleenex tissues.  We’re all sometimes feeling pretty thin and fragile,  made  for ordinary unglamorous uses before we’re discarded….but, oh, what beauty it is possible to create, if we can let the beautiful Light of heaven reflect through us.

Post Script – additional information and a correction:

*    Again, this quote is from  My Spirit Rejoices,  by Elisabeth LeSeur.   This is a journal she wrote for a few years but did not intend for publication.    After her early death, her “scientific-atheist”   doctor-husband discovered the journal and was converted by the spiritual  love and beauty which he found in her soul.    He entered the Church, and eventually took monastic orders with the Dominicans.     Perhaps both are in heaven together with the God they love.

The Correction:  I noticed this morning when I re-read this post that I had made a typo.   I had written  “I am her, far away from home.”    I am certainly not “her.”    I am merely “here”  far away from home. 

TO DO LIST IN PHOTOGRAPHS

April 19, 2012

How’d I do on yesterday’s To Do List?    Lots of photos.    I’m sharing my one vacation day down here with all of you who aren’t traveling this week.    I wish for you all a happy, interesting vacation some day too.

1.   That was “eating breakfast.”    That’s about all a Night Person can manage, upon waking….

No waffles.  No pancakes.  No biscuits and gravy.     You don’t wear off too any calories sitting behind a steering wheel all day.   But I did manage to “get up”  and “eat a breakfast.”        And plot my day’s pathway and exits.

2.  So,  number two was to get to Daytona and write that NASCAR thank you note:

Kind of dark….it was hard getting photos as I whizzed by on “International Speedway Boulevard.”    But I did manage to find a nice post card and even a post office to thank those nice kids for their Easter cookies:

 Thanks, Justo and Espi (and big sister Emily!)

#3b –   I didn’t take a tour around the Racetrack.   I got distracted.   Guess why:

Didn’t see much of the beach for a while.  I was “in”  something wonderful!

Some of Daytona:

Just couldn’t resist:

I just love these things.  Once I saw it in the distance,  all thoughts of riding on the Speedway left my head.   Just looks so inviting.

Daytona Beach itself had some interesting things.  For one,  the sand was brilliantly white.

And another thing,   much of the beach was hard-packed, slightlly damp sand.    It’s why you can drive cars and bicycles on the beach, alongside the water.     It’s why many early cars and engines and fuels were tested here.   But it seemed odd to actually see bicycle and car tracks on a beach:

Well, #3 on the To Do list was to find Ron Jon’s in Cocoa:

 The building is hard to miss.   It’s bright yellow and blue…and I think pink in some places.   If you wonder what a world Famous Surf shop lookslike inside….here’s a portion of this giant two-story interior:

I completed just one more item on the list that was photographed:

#4.   Half an hour further down highway A1A,  past Patrick Air Force Base (where “I Dream of Jeannie” took place)  I finally made it to New York city’s finest pizza place, slightly misplaced  in the city of Indiatlantic — Bizzarro’s.   the pizza was mouth-wateringly good.      And the medium was way, way, way too big for one person.   My Dad is the benficiary of the rest.

So, Deo Gratias,  all went well on this one vacation day that I’m taking….I’m off now to begin the work I must do for my famly…..

TODAY’S TO-DO LIST

April 18, 2012

I know what happens when you “tell God your plans…”      Well, but, you have to have some idea of how you’re going to fill your day.    So,  “Don’t laugh, Dear Lord,  but here are my To-Do Proposals.  (You dispose….)”

To-Do   –

# 1.    St. Augustine, Fl – Have one of those good Travel Breakfasts.  Find the Beach.

# 2.    Daytona Beach, Fl  –  Buy some post cards for some young NASCAR fans so I can write my thank-you notes to them.   They made some beautiful Easter cookies for me when I couldn’t be with them for Easter dinner and went to the doctor instead.  Send the post cards.   Find the beach.

# 3.   Cocoa Beach, Fl –  Go to Ron Jon’s,  the best Surf Shop in the world!!    Purchase Son’s request, and buy other fun stuff!     Find the beach.

# 4.  Melbourne Beach, Fl –  Go to Bizarro’s and buy the best pizza in the world – straight from New York City!!       I love their Brooklyn accent – sounds like I’m ordering pizza from Al Pacino, and they have no patience with my “slow” way of speaking,  but I love them all.   Find the beach.

# 5.   Drive a couple miles south.   Find my Mom.

# 6.   Drive a couple more miles south.    Find my Dad’s house.

The next seven days or so is not a vacation.  As people age  families sometimes run into serious problems and then whoever is left can lend whatever help is possible.      My pleasure.

Elisabeth LeSeur wrote in the beginning of her imcomparable journal *,  Sept. 19,  1899:   “I want to love with a special love those whose birth or religion or ideas separate them from me;  it is especially those whom I must try to understand and who need me to give them a little of what God has placed within me.”

I read her journal to try to understand what treasures God has placed in her, and why, and what treasures He can place in us  —  and then to share those treasures with others.

 

* Elisabeth LeSeur:   “My Spirit Rejoices”

 

 

SILLY SIGNS

April 17, 2012

So,  I posted the rather routine “issues” of traveling in the last post.  I suppose this post goes under the category of Summer Silliness.   It certainly is summer down here in the Deep South.     And I certainly have seen some funny signs lately.

“BRIDGE ICES BEFORE ROAD”

Years ago, Daughter and made this trip to Florida together, and this was one sign we just didn’t get right away.     I think we had to read thirty of them before we finally figured it out.   Seems apparent now, but we don’t word it quite that way in the North.

“BURN HEADLAMPS WHEN USING WIPERS”

Well, no.    I think I’d like to keep my headlights in good shape, even if I had to use my windshield wipers.

“ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION SITE AHEAD”

I thought,  oh-oh.    I know what accident recontructionists do.   They make rope boundaries, take measurements,  spray-paint the pavement, etc., etc.     There’s going to be a pretty awful sight up ahead.

And then there was …  nothing.   Just a wide area on the shoulder of  the road,  like a little turn-out.      No accident.   But if you’re going to have one,  I guess that’s the place for it, because the accident recontructionists will know about that place.

“TAKE SUNGLASSES OFF”

I thought,  are they kidding?     The sun down here in the South is Ferocious!!    And blue eyes don’t do so well in the northern sunlight either.

But it’s because I almost missed this sign:

See the sign on the right?     I just LOVE tunnels!

And so that’s why I needed to take my sunglasses off.   I suppose everything would disappear if you wear sunglasses in there.

We all look for good signs too.   Like “light at the end of the tunnel”?Well, there’s the light at the end…..     Now I need my sunglasses again.   Right quick!

I stopped at a lovely Welcome Center in Georgia and was intrigued by a monument to a “kettle.”    At least, that’s what it looked like:

That’s a genuine kitchen kettle there on the top.   And there’s an interesting explanation –  on a sign, of course:

 So,  hats off to Christopher K.  Jones, Eagle Scout.

But really,  Brunswick Isles area of Georgia?  I always thought Brunswick Stew came from Canada, as in New Brunswick.    Still,  the best Brunswick Stew I ever had was in the South.    Barbecue flavored, of course.

Well, I hope you have some patience with my silliness.   I just drove over 700 miles today…it’s hard to gather up any serious thoughts.

But no matter how tired a person is,  it always pays to Read the Signs!!

(actual sign in the bathroom shower)     You wouldn’t want to miss this one when you’re looking forward to a nice, hot shower after a long drive!

ROLLING ALONG (again)

April 17, 2012

“Have car;  will travel.”       (Have NEW car;  will travel lots !)     With apologies to Palladin and his gun-for-hire business card, I can write a similar motto of my own.

I was figuring out these past few months….in this present 18-week period of time,  I will have been away from home, on the road, for approximately 12 weeks.    Let’s see, that’s….2/3 of the time away from home!

So here we are, on another Necessary Family Trip, with all the familiar issues and experiences  of traveling:

Interesting skies.  (This one on the day I left — 50 m.p.h. wind gusts):

Beautiful scenery:

The Cruze, finding a “comfort stop”  —

And the cautions –  reminders along the way to be very, very careful.   Remember my last trip?    Within 60 seconds of leaving for California,  I had that terrible fall in my driveway, and then had to deal with my injured body parts for the next 2,400 miles.    I took it as a little reminder from Above not to start out too confidently;  “if you’re not always watchful, bad things could happen.”    Yes.   Thank you.   Ouch.

And then within 60 seconds of beginning my return trip, as I was stepping into the car, I didn’t quite make it through one of those icy snowdrifts from the mountain blizzard, and landed hard, somewhat under my waiting car.    Ouch again.  Thanks for the reminder,  again.

Well, this trip started off without injury, but there are still reminders along the way.

Ahead of that police car, wrecker, and fire truck were a couple of other cars being reminded that traveling is a serious affair.    (Note to self)

There are other more fun issues  in traveling too, like “where are we going to spend the night?”

If you haven’t traveled for a while,  just add to that photo above:   relief;   comfort;   rest; safety;   and “not moving.”       That’s what that scene above stands for.

And then there’s that question:  “What’s for breakfast?”   And the familiar sight of the Breakfast Room –  (sausage, bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy, Danish,  waffles and syrup, apples, bananas, and…well, peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches!   )

So,  I won’t bore you with any more of those kinds of routine traveling details.

It’s all part of the journey…..and, thanks to God’s watchful care,  it’s all going well.

 

FUN SON

April 15, 2012

How cool is this !!!

It’s not quite as scary as it looks.

Son and I were talking about something on our basement stairway, and as he turned to go upstairs he jumped back and said — with great delight, I might add — I can see the eyeballs shining!”

Or at least that’s what I heard.      Eyeballs.   Shining.   “You have to look at it at the right angle.”

I thought it was his eyeballs reflecting the ceiling light into the window alongside our outside door.    But it was this:

A moth had landed on our window.  It was outside.  Outside “looking in.”   And it was its little eyeballs that were reflecting the ceiling light by the door.

Being “us,” we each ran for our cameras and spent the next several minutes getting a few shots of the little creature.   Finally it flew away.

But we had captured the moment.   A very interesting moment.    How fun!

HOW DID WE LEARN WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW?

April 11, 2012

It was Book Club tonight –

We didn’t meet at someone’s house tonight, we met at a public place, a comfortable book store cafe.    (Not the one in the picture!)

It was a bit noisier place to hold our meeting, but inspiring to be among books and book lovers and  conducive to discussion.      One very, very tiny bit of our discussion tonight was how we take in our information.   See, with all the technology today, we can choose from a wide variety of ways to “read” our selected book.

Since I’ve been busy this week,  I’ve been running around with our book in my Kindle.  I’ve been sleeping with my Kindle,  eating with my Kindle, and tonight I showed up still holding on to my Kindle –  97 % done with the book (according to Kindle!)    Some had read the book in book form.  One had brought abridged children’s versions, which was very interesting, since our book this time was David Copperfield, approximately 1,000 pages long.    We also talked about all the eBooks and audio books available.

Some of us confessed to be chiefly audio-learners;  some are visual learners.

Which got me to thinking:   How did you come to know what you know?   How did you learn what it is you think you know?  What’s the best way for you to come to an understanding of something?

Well, all the ways we can, I suppose.   All five senses.  Or six senses…(intuition, insights. . . . .)

Remember, it’s still the Octave of Easter?     And – I’m a couple days late, I know – but an important Reading for this time is the story of Jesus meeting the two disciples on their way home to Emmaus.    They’re walking together, right after the Day of the Resurrection, and a third Person joins them.     It’s  Jesus, but they don’t recognize Him, for some reason.

We speculate on the reason:   They were caught off guard.     Reason (and memory)  told them He was dead.    He was in His  resurrected body, which was different somehow.

But until this week I had overlooked a simple phrase written in the Bible about this:   “But their eyes were held so that they should not know Him.”        It was deliberate!     They could have known that it was He by the use of all of their senses,  but they were supernaturally prevented from knowing Him.

And then came His gentle questions:  “What’s going on with you two?”     And then came His explanation of the Scriptures about why the Crucifixion and Resurrection had to be.

But still they didn’t know!

And then – They invited Him to their home and urged Him to stay with them.

And then they prepared a meal.   The invitation into their homes included the intimate act of eating a meal – together.

And after He had come to them on the road, after He had talked with them and taught them,  after He had given them the choice to let Him “go  on” further by Himself, and after He had accepted their invitation to come into their home and eat with them,   then  He blessed and consecrated the bread and it was the Bread they needed, and they  no longer needed to see Him with their eyes and their other senses….

And then the Bible says:   “And their eyes were opened and they knew Him…”      And since they now had Him in the Bread,  and they no longer needed to see Him with their eyes and their other senses…He vanished.

How did they learn what they now knew and ran to tell the rest of the disciples so they could pass it on to others?

Sometimes our understanding of things is “held back”  until the right time, until we’re prepared to receive the dawning of the fullness of the Truth.

I suspect all of us at Book Club,  all of us friends,  are in a lifelong quest to figure out this world and our existence in it.  That’s part of the reason that we read books.   It’s part of the reason we have some lively discussions, sometimes, about what book we’re going to read for next time!      And  now we can decide which way we can reach out into the world, through that book,  to learn the best way we can,  to prepare ourselves for that precious Light of insight that we are ready for.

We know what we think we know now,  but some day we will really know.

 

 

 

SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD

April 9, 2012

A belated Happy Easter to all of you –

I’ve not had too good an understanding of what day it is lately.   I spent a good deal of time this evening fretting that it’s Tuesday already (it isn’t)  while still wondering where Sunday  (Easter Sunday)  went.   I’ve been sleeping on and off, lying low,  “taking care of myself,” and even managed to go see a doctor on….Sunday.

The verdict is:  I’m not contagious.   Diagnosis from the doctor:  “I’m mystified.”    Not a word you want to hear from your doctor, but we jointly agreed that my throat is still “injured” from the unspecified throat infection and there is an inflammatory process going on, soon to diminish, I hope.    If not — well, the doctor has a “plan” — which I hope I won’t have to take advantage of.    So.    Lots of rest in the coming days.  Don’t call me.   I’m not talking.

It was Easter Day, however, and it still is Easter.  This time is called the Octave of Easter because the Church knows that we need more than just one day to take it all in.   Let us not treat our Easter meditations the same way we treat our Easter dinner leftovers!        More fortunately for us,  we can sit at a fresh new banquet of Easter lessons each day of this Octave.

I know today we are “served up”  the experience of the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus,  but since I’m already mixed up in my days, I would like to, instead,  write to you a little “leftover”  thought I had from Holy Week.

It’s the familiar story of the woman of Bethania who broke open the alabaster jar and anointed Our Lord with its contents,  the costly spikenard.    The disciples, led by Judas, objected to the “waste” of money, but were silenced by the gentle words of Jesus who explained the meaning of what she was doing.

I doubt if they understood His explanation any more than they understood Him when He told them flat-out with plain words that soon they would all enter Jerusalem where he would be executed and then rise again in three days.    That went over their head, at the time.

I also don’t think this woman fully understood why she was inspired to anoint Jesus at this time, the beginning of Holy Week.   I doubt if she knew there would be an actual burial with in a week.

But what were those gentle words from Jesus that summed up this woman’s actions?   From Mark 14:8 –  “She hath done what she could..”    

I also don’t fully understand the full import of Easter.   I don’t fully comprehend the wonders of our Redemption by His death and Resurrection.     I celebrated Easter Day as best I could this year, and I will keep the Octave of Easter as best I can.

When I think of this woman of Bethania, of her total  devotion to Jesus, of her fearless act of love,   I see that she has set a very high standard for us to follow.   It’s a standard of “total abandonment” to Our Lord, whatever He allows into our lives.   Even if, like the woman, we don’t fully understand everything, we do what we can.     

“She hath done what she could.”

 

 

A MOTHER WAITS

April 7, 2012

“Behold, all ye that pass by.   Behold, and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which hath fallen upon me, with which the LORD hath afflicted me, as he spoke  in the day of his fierce anger.”  (Lamentations 1:2)

Prophetic words, written perhaps 2,600 years ago, fulfilled in the life of Christ, almost 2,000 years ago.  Such intense Sorrow and such intense Love, mingled together, flowing out from His wounds, until His death, and His Body is given back to the Mother which bore Him –

“A son lives in his mother’s heart” –  no matter how old he is.      She felt His Sorrow and Pain  in a manner that no one else could.    This is the “sword” that was to pierce her heart too, as foretold on  that day she presented her baby boy to the Temple in Jerusalem.

And yet, when the worst that could possibly happen to her Son happened, through it all she was not crushed, nor destroyed, nor defeated.   See, in the picture?   She is looking through it;   she’s looking beyond.

Her heart always joined to His heart.  I think she could feel what was coming next.   As this Holy Saturday comes to a close,  a few more hours will pass, and those words without precedence will sustain her:  Destroy this “temple” and in three days I will raise it up again….  And in a few more hours her faith and her hope and her trust in her Son will be fulfilled.  She will see Him again!

And then, in the morning, the other Marys will run to the tomb and find it empty.    But Mary, the Mother of Jesus,  the Mother of God,  will not have to go there with them.

 

HIS LAST 24 HOURS

April 6, 2012

“And the evening and the morning were….”       the (first) (second) etc.,  “day.”

My Friend-With-The-Camera sent this photo today.   (Thank you!)    It’s our current moon, the Pascal Moon, last night.

Last night (almost a couple thousand years ago)  was the beginning of the last 24-hour day of Our Lord’s life on this Earth.

“And the evening and the morning….”     

Beginning from sundown of what we call “Thursday” evening until sundown of what we call “Friday”   we remember, relive, commemorate, enter into, and meditate upon Our Lord’s last hours.   It begins with a Supper among friends, a Supper near the time of Passover, a Supper that not only anticipates in time their soon-to-arrive Passover Week,  when lambs are sacrificed  in atonement for our sins,  but a Supper that fulfills all that  their previous Passovers had promised.

“And the evening and the morning…..”

In that last day, that last 24-hour period, the Pascal lamb had been chosen and readied for the sacrifice.   It was to be eaten, to be sure,  but it was to be forever after connected with those startling words “This is My Body…” and “This is My Blood…”

Incomprehensible!

But He had prepared them for this before:  “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. “    (John 6:56 )     And, no, this was not a “figure of speech.”     They understood him literally, and many turned away from such an incomprehensible statement,  because He, Himself, wouldn’t explain it away.

And now, in these last 24 hours, He reminds them of His earlier teaching,  and He ate with them literally, and He blessed the bread and wine, literally,  and He pronounced that They are  His Body, literally.

“And the evening…”

And towards the end of this last 24-hour period,  He became the sacrificial Lamb of God on the Cross, offering up His Body and Blood,   for us –  literally.

And so this is the One, Unique Sacrifice of the Anointed One that was anticipated for thousands of years, and by devout anticipation, entered into by those with Faith in a just and merciful God. . . and the  same One, Unique Sacrifice of the Anointed One that is participated in, ever since,  and by devout remembrance, entered into by those with Faith in the same just and merciful God.

His Body and Blood on the Altar of the Cross.

HE LET THE PEOPLE, THIS TIME

April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday:

Didn’t want to go to church today.    Haven’t quite “pulled myself together”  after my trip.   Or maybe because it’s the fourth week of this “sort throat”  thing.   I don’t feel like doing anything.    Don’t even feel like pulling myself together.

I always tell my classes that we should be thankful for the rules of the Church because sometimes we don’t feel like doing what we ought to do —  and if we do what we feel like doing, we’d miss out on a lot of good things that God intends for us.

So I went to church.

 But I let my mind wander.

In the background of my mind I heard the Gospel.     Some of the people of Jerusalem gathered palms and welcomed Jesus into the city as their king.    He was, but not that kind of king.   It was nice to hear and almost feel their joy and enthusiasm. . . .

Once before these kind of people had wanted to proclaim Him their king, and He didn’t let them.  It was after He had fed the hungry multitude on the mountainside.  They realized that He had fed them and there was an abundance left over for when they had need again.   That’s the kind of king you want.  A miracle-maker!    One that would take care of all your needs in this life.

But at that time Jesus wouldn’t let them make him their king.   He discreetly, swiftly,  mystically made himself disappear from their presence.

Today, entering Jerusalem for the last time,   knowing these same people would be among those calling for His death,  this time He let them proclaim Him to be their king.

Why did He let them do that this time?

There are important issues here that will draw us into the reality of  Our Lord’s life and death. . . .

The “issues” are dancing in and out of my mind.   I haven’t pulled it all together yet.   He is King.   Christ is King.   But not that kind of king.   But He let them honor Him as king.   Precious thoughts that belong to the Holy Week ahead of us.   Precious pieces that begin to make sense, now and then.    Pieces I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t gone to church today;    sick, tired, fussy,  I had no energy to wave palms for Him, but He gave me some “pieces” to think about.

Deo gratias.