Some of us remember when the Washington Nationals, newly arrived from Canada, played farther up the Anacostia River–at a dilapidated old multi-use stadium where the ancient Senators had played the last professional baseball game in Washington, in 1971.
I stood outside Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian parish church on East Capitol street before the home games those first couple seasons, to smile at the fans heading from Capitol Hill towards RFK. And invite them inside to say a prayer if they wanted.
Some of us remember when Anthony Rendon came up from the minors because Zimmerman had to go on the DL for a few weeks. Then Rendon got sent back to the minors. (Praise Jesus they brought him back up again later that season.)
And some of us remember when the Nationals couldn’t even spell Nationals.
We’ve come a long way.
May God’s will be done in Houston this evening.
ADDENDUM: They won! Washington Nationals World Champions, 2019!
How about if every day of the summer we do this: Pause to focus on one single item of our experience which shows the ineffably wonderful wisdom of God?
Could be: ‘Lord, how splendid that You designed our digestive systems to assimilate nutrients in such an efficient and yet delightful and dignified fashion!’
Or: ‘Lord, You keep the sun shining so I can go fishing in the evening!’
Or: ‘Listen to the music of the cicadas, the song of the living earth!’
Or: ‘Gosh, two minds separated by enormous distances of time and space can share the same mysteries, through the medium of a book—how awesome!’
Or: ‘Almighty Creator, You water our planet in such an elaborate manner that the pull of gravity produces waterfalls and other alluring spectacles which also offer a cool respite from the summer heat!’
Or: ‘God gives us all this, and baseball season, too? Come on!’
Every day of summer: Something. Anything. Could be really small, like: ‘Yes! There is such a thing as iced coffee!” Or big, like: ‘Because of the chemical system which God designed, fireworks are possible.’
One thing every day. A different one each day. All summer long.
Anyone spend time meditating on Revelation 21 lately? And why not?
Easter season. Things we believe in. So far we have considered the following:
We believe in one thing, namely ______. God.
Two fundamental mysteries of faith: __________ and _______________. Trinity, Incarnation.
The articles we believe, spelled-out in the __________. Creed (not the band).
We see, hear, smell, taste, touch the external, material elements of the sacraments; we believe they give us invisible ________. Grace.
Ok. The next topic regarding our faith, appropriate for the Easter season: The triune God brought about the Incarnation, accomplished everything summarized in the Creed, and gives us grace in the sacraments, all for one ultimate reason: So that we can get to ______________.
Perhaps, dear reader, you remember that we have touched on our love for Michael Jackson before.
The album “Thriller” was fun in just about every way–all the songs were good, the videos were delightful, the Vincent-Price cameo was priceless.
“Human Nature” is on my iPod perennially. I liked the album “Bad,” too. “Man in the Mirror” was a great song.
Also, let’s not forget that M.J. was acquitted of all charges.
May the King of Pop rest in peace.
Speaking of death, today I drove past the one small piece of real estate I own.
It is only a few square feet.
But it will be more than big enough, when the time comes.
Act V, Scene 1 of Hamlet opens with two gravediggers joking with each other.
The one asks the other, “What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?”
The other replies, “The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.”
The other replies:
I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows
does well; but how does it well? it does well to
those that do ill: now thou dost ill to say the
gallows is built stronger than the church: argal,
the gallows may do well to thee. To’t again, come.
The second one can’t come up with another witty reply, so the first one says:
Cudgel thy brains no more about it, for your dull
ass will not mend his pace with beating; and, when
you are asked this question next, say ‘a
grave-maker:’ the houses that he makes last till
The entire scene is very long. Here is the second part of it, worthily done by Kenneth Branaugh and our old buddy Billy Crystal, from the 1996 movie version.
Then, later on in the scene, my favorite phrase from all of Shakespeare makes its appearance. Laertes is bickering with the priest. Laertes thinks his sister Ophelia’s funeral has been too short.
Laertes. What ceremony else?
Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg’d
As we have warranty. Her death was doubtful;
And, but that great command o’ersways the order,
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg’d
Till the last trumpet. For charitable prayers,
Shards, flints, and pebbles should be thrown on her.
Yet here she is allow’d her virgin rites,
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home
Of bell and burial.
Laertes. Must there no more be done?
Priest. No more be done.
We should profane the service of the dead
To sing a requiem and such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.
Laertes. Lay her i’ th’ earth;
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A minist’ring angel shall my sister be
When thou liest howling.
“Churlish priest!” Maybe, after this Year of the Priest is over, we can have a Year of the Churlish Priest, and I will be the poster-child.
And you ask why we do not pay more attention to the Nationals? This blog may be tedious in countless ways–but we take great pride in our spelling…
…Four years ago today, then-Cardinal Ratzinger preached to the Papal Electors just before they entered the conclave.
The day before he became Pope Benedict, the Dean of the College of Cardinals gave a very memorable homily. Here are some good passages:
Christ’s mercy is not a grace that comes cheap, nor does it imply the trivialization of evil. Christ carries the full weight of evil and all its destructive force in his body and in his soul. He burns and transforms evil in suffering, in the fire of his suffering love… This is the vengeance of God: he himself suffers for us, in the person of his Son. The more deeply stirred we are by the Lord’s mercy, the greater the solidarity we feel with his suffering – and we become willing to complete in our own flesh “what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Col 1: 24)…
…Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine”, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires…
…The fruit that endures is therefore all that we have sown in human souls: love, knowledge, a gesture capable of touching hearts, words that open the soul to joy in the Lord. So let us go and pray to the Lord to help us bear fruit that endures.