My dream existence

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Absolute Peace

"Beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon" --Oscar Wilde

He was right. Beauty is a fact of the world, bigger and more complete than all of the evils and sorrows of this world put together. It is a fact of the world and it is comforting, for it is God working among us. It is above genius, because it is the product of God's Word. It needs no explanation, because it is written in our souls.

No matter what evils occur in the day-to-day, the beauty with which we are surrounded is always there, showing that God never ceases to walk beside us with His love and His mercy. His beauty is His promise.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Til Death Do They Part

This morning, while parked at a stoplight, I experienced a moment that was outside of time, and which touched me rather deeply.

A classic American car drove by, and in it sat a couple, at least 80 years old. What touched me so much was how together they looked, and how much time they had clearly spent together. The window into their world was like looking at a little bit of heaven on earth.

There they were, as wrinkled as they could be, but dressed up for driving. She had a scarf over her head (despite it's being a closed car) and a co-ordinated suit, while he was wearing a fedora and a sports coat. They were smiling and talking, probably sharing some little family joke, and for all I know, they were probably holding hands on the seat.

I thought back to what it must have been like the first time she ever got in his car back in the 40's. She would have gaily tied her kerchief over her head to keep her perfectly done hair in place while they went driving in the open car, skipped down the walkway to the car, hopped up into the passenger seat, and flashed her man a smile as he closed the door after her. He probably grinned a little to himself, straightened his coat as he came around the front of the car, and flashed her an equally beguiling smile as he slid in behind the wheel. And then they were off. . .for the rest of their lives. And there they were again today, just as happy looking as they would have been their first day together, doing just the same things they did back then, only a little bit slower......

and slower until the day when Love Himself will take them to be with Him.

Surely trial has touched them as it touches all of us; undoubtedly difficulties presented themselves with frequency along their roads. However, they weathered it all, and they did it with grace, and with love. It is indeed a many-splendored thing, when love has been lived well and truly!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Great Thursday

Great Thursday, otherwise known as Holy Thursday, is so named because it was on this day that Christ gave to His Church His greatest gifts: The Eucharist, and the priesthood to administer His sacraments for the rest of time. Outside of the Redemption itself, we have been given nothing so great as these admirable gifts.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Liturgical Blooms

There is so much of beauty in the traditions of the Catholic Church. In the old days, Palm Sunday used to be known also as Pascha Floridum, or the Bud of Pascha. This is a truly lovely thought. Easter Sunday (Pascha) is only eight days away, and so Palm Sunday is like the little flower bud that begins to show its colors before it blossoms to its full glory a few days later. That little flower bud still has alot of work to do--it still needs to break through the shell around it, just like we still have to go through the trials of Holy Week, and finish cracking our shells of sin. But then at the end, the bud becomes a gorgeous celebration of life and color, while our Easter Sunday reveals the glory of the Risen Christ and our consequent rebirth in His Light.

In 1513, the Spaniards discovered a peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. It just so happened to be the day of Pascha Floridum, so the Spaniards named that peninsula Florida. Our own state of Florida was named after a lovely Catholic tradition--what a neat thought.

Pussy willows came into use in the northern European countries during the Middle Ages. Palms were very hard to come by, so churches in northern Europe didn't usually have any for Palm Sunday. They had to use various other branches instead. Pussy willows came into favor because they worked well with the symbolism of the Pascha Floridum.

There are so many wonderful things about the Catholic Church, but certainly her traditions are among the best things about her. They infuse a sense of romance and adventure into our lives. They give us something to look forward to, and something to live up to. They dress up our lives, and make the passing of time special. Thank you, Lord, for tradition!