Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action

For a good week now, the Lord has been somewhat flamboyant around my shelf of journals. They've always been an excellent mental and spiritual exercise to write, even if the first of them is quite amusing, being the awkward jottings of a mystic still ignorant of his own condition, and they've also been much consolation, and of course, butresses to the failings of human memory. Especially as to dates. I once put in a phone call to the Assistant General Secretary to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops that was immensely useful politically, in a very quiet sort of way, and subsequently thought of it as having been done in the early spring, as the day was dark, cold, and wet. But there in my journals the note states, I think, July. That's the interior rain forest for you.
You can imagine the novelist, raging with sudden, irresistable, inspiration: "It was a stormy day, in March, the snow barely gone from the lawns of the substantial domiciles of ______, when Edgar left the house to ramble about the town and ponder the significance of what he had just heard over the telephone from the nation's capital." Especially when the note for the next day spoke of a change in the weather and a youngest daughter counting her nickles and dimes to see if she had enough money for a trip to the Dairy Queen, at the same time getting out bathing suit, towel, and suntan lotion.
Just about every time I sit down in my chair - the journals to my left, at eye level as I sit - there is a modest, fairly brief, display of light, as if the Virgin Mary were actually winking at me. Those mostly hard-backed books of many colours are hers, by the way, as she periodically reminds me. It's consoling of course, but it has also been mystifying. Why this externalism? The journals never fail to radiate instruction, new and old explanation, strengthening, when I open them up, so why this cheerful display that has been happening without my even laying a hand on them?
The answer came this morning, while I was still not quite clear of wondering if I should write another post about male hysteria, this time the result of too much physical exercise. (No, not mine this time. I've been admirably moderate of late, yet the weight continues a modest slide.) I had run into a lad who seems to have failed to read Saint Paul adequately, in respect to exercise, and cannot put the spiritual in its proper priority. I had some pretty good ideas going, but not a balanced order to them, so I commenced the second half of the daily reading of the date in the journals. I prefer to break them up into at least two parts. Like the breviary, then can be pretty heavy reading and I don't like to skate over the surface if I can help it.
The clue to the light show came right at the beginning of what I think of as the second half: June 2, 1994. Sixteen Years ago, as in one of Bob Dylan's longer songs. I render the text:

Yesterday aft an image of bishops, quite a column of them, 2x2, in mitres, on the streets of Dublin.

The Pope, of course, has just named the archbishops who will lead the visitation of the Irish Church, including two from Canada, over the question of the cover up of child abuse.
Sixteen years. Well, no one ever said that contemplation was life in the fast lane. But I hope the solution to the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico doesn't take that long. I've only been able to pray for it recently, in any of the spirit I can feel any confidence in. This was after realizing that the Providential aspect of this unmitigated environmental nightmare is its tit for tat reponse to the recent habit of America  - and others - dumping its toxic wastes on other continents. This is unlikely to be of any comfort to the poor citizens on the coasts of the afflicted states, but it is a consideration that cannot be avoided, and should be considered part of the guilt package.
Inevitably, the Lord does hear the cry of the poor, no matter how young and helpless, or far away and desperate for food at any price.

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