Sunday, October 16, 2011


Photographer Norris Archer Harrington works in and around L.A..

You can see more of Norris's fine photos at his gallery here.


  1. The Lark ascending. The perfect music for my Sunday morning. It occurred to me as I was listening to the music that the reason I read your blog daily is your search for beauty in all you do. In music, the natural world, food and especially in your spiritual life i.e. Christianity. Keep doing what you are doing Ms. King. The Lord is smiling on you.

  2. Oh Philip, that is nice, thank you...especially as I am feeling every-so-slightly weary/unsettled/overwhelmed as of late...I will walk to noon Mass and there refresh myself...thank you for your thoughtful readership and all blessings to you...

  3. Heather -- I echo all of Philip's sentiments; he's absolutely right.

    Do you know the composer Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), who grew up in my adopted hometown of Arlington, Mass.? I have just discovered some of his compositions on YouTube. I recommend!

    And yes, Mr Harrington's photographs -- compelling, arresting, implicating!

  4. The Harringtons might well say,

    1 Let the charity of the brotherhood abide in you.
    2 And hospitality do not forget; for by this some, being not aware of it, have entertained angels.
    Hebrews 13:2

    Thanks for stopping by each day. Keep up the good work!

  5. Oh, Heather, how I wish something as simple as "noon Mass" would refresh me. Sadly, it will take more than a priest haranguing us about the new Missal to do it for me...

  6. Thanks Heather. You're always welcome for dinner!

  7. Dad: Oh dear Lord, you are not nearly lonely enough, hungry enough, poor enough in spirit if a mere haranguing priest puts you off! We have to endure way WAY more than boring priests to walk the Via Dolorosa: alone, in darkness, with no anaesthesia. I have learned that my own annoyance with bad music, boring priests, etc., if the annoyance is such that it would dissuade me from attending Mass, does not mean that I am ever so much deeper than everyone else; it means I am ever so much shallower. I have come to see that the people around me at Mass are not mindless morons who actually ENJOY the haranguing priest but that they are perhaps putting up with what is not pleasing to their sensibilities, either, out of love…I have come to understand that for centuries, “simple” people have been keeping the flame of the Church going, hiddenly, anonymously, have laid down their lives so that people like me can stumble in, like the five o’clock worker in the vineyard, and be welcomed, be invited to the banquet table, be saved…

    Mass is not “simple.” Mass is all there is. Mass is the center of all mystery, all meaning, all of reality…Mass is ALL that can refresh me. And by refresh, I don’t mean I go skipping off into my simple little Hallmark world strewing peace and joy. I mean that no matter how exhausted, discouraged, frightened and lonely I am; no matter how worried about my finances, my health, the state of my soul, my family, my friends, and the world, I know that Christ lives in me and that he will help me to at least try to be cheerful and civil and kind when everything in me wants to withdraw, to stop participating, to have my own private church.

    I mean refreshed the way a boxer is refreshed when he collapses, bleeding, in the corner and they throw water on him so he can go one more round. That’s the light that shines in darkness. That’s the Resurrection...

  8. How I wish it were so for me, Heather. But I keep trying! I just got your new book, along with Monkswear (thanks for the recommendation) and James Martin's new one on mirth. I've got some interesting reading ahead.

    I would think, respectfully, that if the Mass truly is "It" for you, you would have little tolerance for those who trivialize it...including boring priests and terrible music. I humbly suggest the Mass has been reduced to rote prayer and uninspiring sermons and, yes, I need to find a new place to worship. I crave for the mystery, the joy, the peace that Mass brings to you...but my faith, obviously, isn't what yours is.

    Dave Lee

  9. Oh Dave, thanks for tolerating my soapboxing, which I WILL indulge in from time to time...all I'm trying to say is that my love for Mass has nothing to do with how it makes me feel. Of course I notice the bad homilies, etc. And of course I realize that faith of any kind is a mystery and an unmerited grace. And of course I sympathize...

    What has helped me so much is just going to the Gospels. Reading the Gospels and getting to know the astonishing Person of Christ who is at once one of us and not "like" anyone--who asks "Who do you say that I am?" Just sitting with him in prayer, bringing all my brokenness, all my doubts, all my loneliness, all my rage, all my lust, all my fears, and in the end, all my love...He always, always responds to that. He promised us...

  10. Heather, I will take comfort, find solace, in His promise and do my best to believe. You are right: I'm not lonely enough, hugry enough or poor enough in spirit. I've lots to work on. Thank you for hearing me. Now I'm off to read SHIRT OF FLAME...Dave

  11. Heather, re: your "Going to Chicago" post, do you still also have a talk scheduled at a parish near Dayton, OH on the 13th? I had noticed it several months ago on your website, but don't see it there now.... I had it penciled on my calendar. I went back to check when your Chicago news was posted.

    Hoping that it's still on your calendar! The drive would be very doable for me to the Dayton area.

    I have to order another copy of Shirt of Flame. A dear woman who is very devoted to St. Therese has has had some tragic family losses. I met her at the funeral home again yesterday and felt she really need some encouragement so my brand new book went home with her. She lit up and said, "Oh, Mary Beth, this is just what I NEED right now!"

    Who knows where your books will travel? Who knows where a copy of "Shirt of Flame" will be the sign of roses that will give someone some consolation or hope?

    Your work is indeed a sacrificial offering of your whole life.

  12. Hi Mary Beth, no, the people cancelled out of the blue! I still don't know why...I'm so sorry I won't get a chance to meet you this time, but rest assured I will post if and when I'm a-gonna be out that way again. And how lovely (and no doubt characteristic) that you gave your copy of Shirt of Flame to your friend! You're exactly right and it is true of all our work--we put it out there and God alone will see to where, how, and whether it bears fruit...


I WELCOME your comments!!!