Reading Sirach has given me an idea for a summer project.
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.
We Christians have kept the memorial of St. Mary Magdalen on July 22 for at least 13 hundred years.
Perhaps she died on July 22. Or maybe she arrived at Ephesus on July 22–during the summer after Pentecost–to announce to the people of Asia Minor what she had announced to the Apostles, namely that Christ lives.
Imagine living through the summer after the first Pentecost. The first summer after the Redemption of the human race. The first summer of the Age of Grace.
That summer, when it got really, really hot, everyone could look at each other and say, ‘You know what? Now that the Lord Jesus has conquered the devil, this oppressive summer heat does not necessarily have to be a foretaste of what life after death will be like!’
Continue reading “Very Hot on July 22”
The other day, beads of sweat dripped from my elbow when I finished my morning run. The sheer joy of it moved me to compose this little rhapsody:
Come, long hot Washington summer!
Come and enfold your people in your torrid embrace.
We will take every sweaty minute of your grimy kiss.
We hardly know ourselves without your bleary fog surrounding us.
Come and wrap us in your dank blanket!
…Here is a Trinity Sunday homily for you:
Lord, what is man that you care for him? Mortal man, that you keep him in mind? Yet You have made him little less than a god. (Psalm Eight)
In Sacred Scripture, the Wisdom of God testifies that He brought about the making of all things with the Almighty Father:
When the Lord established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep; when he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth; when he set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his command; then was I beside him as his craftsman. (Proverbs 8:27-30)
This is the Word of God speaking, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. All three Persons of the Trinity brought about creation. Of all the works of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the greatest is man. Divine Wisdom says, “I found delight in the human race.” The Lord crowned the world by making us “with glory and honor, putting all things under our feet” (Psalm Eight).
Continue reading “little trinities”
This was the most exciting summer in sports I can remember. It included the following unforgettable events:
1. The Boston Celtics second-half comeback win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the NBA Finals on June 12. The Celtics were down by twenty-four points at halftime—in Los Angeles. Then their starting center Kendrick Perkins went to the locker room with a shoulder injury early in the third quarter. And then the Celtics came back to win 97-91.
Even though the Lakers won Game Five, they were beaten after their Game Four loss at home; it was just a matter of time before the Celtics took the trophy. (Note regarding the fickleness of the basketball fan: I hated Kobe in June. Kevin Garnett was my man back then.)
2. The greatest Wimbledon Mens’ Final of all time on July 6. I turned off the t.v. at about 11:05 a.m. (I had to go say Mass), figuring that Nadal had Federer’s number and would soon be through with him. At 4:00 p.m., I turned the t.v. back to see who won—and it wasn’t over! Federer had rallied, and they were finishing the fifth set. Nadal certainly deserved to win, but Federer showed a level of resilience and determination not seen since the Pelopennesian Wars.
3. The emergence of Phil Dalhausser onto the world stage. This guy is my man! I have never had more fun than watching Rogers and Dalhausser march to the Beach Volleyball gold. (May-Trainor and Walsh are awesome and beautiful; Rogers is deeply impressive—but the Beijing Beast is MY MAN!)
4. USA Basketball Redemption in an unforgettable Gold Medal game. It was a championship game for the history books. Our NBA-star squad played as a team with high-school-like heart. It was enough to restore your faith in the goodness of man. (Perhaps that is a bit of an overstatement—but here’s to hoping that the Bad Years are over. I can even live with the arms full of tattoos now—though the sooner Dennis Rodman is altogether forgotten, the better.) And of course now I love Kobe as if he were my own blood brother.
Of course, there is also the business about Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals, more than anyone has ever won at a single Olympic games. (He did win; he definitely touched first.)
Let’s give the good Lord His due for giving us such an unforgettable summer. We should never take His blessings for granted. I can’t imagine He will give us another summer like it for a while. Will He be pleased to give us a good Redskins’ season? Will He exult or chastise Jim Zorn? (At least Jason Taylor has no ligament damage.) Only time will tell…