Monday, September 15, 2014


"Then, some days ago, walking past the rocks in the park on my way to the subway, and suddenly aware of the intense greenness of the leaves, that same happy yet mostly vague and excited feeling came back to me."
--Alfred Kazin’s Journals, selected and edited by Richard M. Cook, p. 130

"I always had a sense of being followed, of being desired a sense of hope and expectation."
--Dorothy Day

"Religion consists of the belief that everything that happens to us is extraordinarily important. It can never disappear from the world for this reason."
--Italian poet Cesare Pavese (1908-1950)

One of the fruits of thinking that everything’s important is that you begin to live every second at an inner fever pitch, in such a way that all your powers and talents and faculties are brought to a thrilling, vitalized, height.

Either that, or like Pavese, you kill yourself.


  1. beautiful captures of that golden moment!
    Does it happen to you, you read about someone or study about them, and then they turn up in other reading materials? Our group called Women at the Well read about Dorothy Day for this month's meeting. Wow, what a tremondous life she led after her conversion. (our book is My Life with the Saints by Fr. Martin)

  2. Didn't know Pavese took his life. But it reminds me of a story my little sister told me some years back -forgive me any details that might be off from the original....
    The husband of some woman from England took his life by jumping off a bridge. She was so heartbroken and distressed that she went on pilgrimage to the parish of this reputedly holy priest in Ars, France named John Marie Vianney. When she arrived it was the middle of mass and Fr. was giving the homily so she took a back seat in the church and quietly wept over the soul of her husband. Suddenly, from the pulpit she heard the priest calling to the back of the church for her to stop crying. When she looked up to connect that it was indeed her he was talking to, she fixed her glance on this priest and heard him say. "Stop crying, for your husband repented of his suicide before his fall brought his death!"
    I heard it said that Mother Theresa stated that she could not recall ever having maliciously or unfairly judged anyone. If that is true, it is so far from my own history of judging others that I am ashamed to admit it. But something hit me once on my way out of a confessional one day --I have no idea why-- and I was overcome with gratitude for the priest who had just allowed Christ to forgive me through absolution. That deep thankfulness than expanded to cover all priests, no matter how unholy or poorly lived their lives seemed to me. And I can honestly say I've never judged a priest since; and they used to be a most common target of my anger since they, of all people, I thought, should be soooo good.
    That same St John Vianney was also reputed to say that if we knew the true worth of one priest, we would die of love.

    1. Forgot to mention above that it is a perfect night in Colorado for a relaxing walk, one I'm about to go take advantage of! 55 degrees, no wind, and the sun is just setting

  3. Perhaps my priorities are off kilter. I fluctuate between belief that everything is important and that nothing is. A majority of my days are spent in belief that the clusters of Black Eyed Susans growing along the sidewalk, the echo of chanting monk song, the emotion I felt after waking from a bizarre dream, and the handwritten poem I found on a discarded napkin are all so very important and deserve every bit of attention and praise, while the status of my credit score, who leads our government, and other "important" matters I disregard, as if I see no value at all in them! Simple strolls, creaking screen doors, the small things - that's what excites me!

    1. I guess the question for me is where and how do I experience God? We all see and experience Him in different places, it seems. And then I guess the authenticity of our experience would be reflected by how deeply we are moved to change, stretch, grow, love the least of these...Bipartisan politics just makes me want to argue. That's not an area that invites me, personally, to grow. Though if it helps others, that is beautiful! Just so, lots of other people would lose their minds if they had to go around looking at flowers...Either God is everywhere or He's nowhere. So of course he's in politicians and political issues and so forth. But for me, politics can never ask the DEEPEST questions....

    2. And what about Jesus conversation with Pilate? This was a ruler who cared about maintaining the political status quo. Jesus got past politics with him by talking about truth, which prompted Pilate to ask perhaps the deepest question of all, "What is truth?" And he didn't comprehend the living ANSWER stood before him.

    3. Hmmm... I suppose then, I experience "Presence" in clusters of Black Eyed Susans, in the echoing of monk chant, and in the tidbits of human stories that show simplicity and love...

      Thanks for the words.


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