Posted by: Peadar Ban | February 28, 2013

I Will Take Today

Here is something from The Christian Book Corner‘s Facebook Page:

TODAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013:  I Will Take Today

The way it feels inside these walls, the way it looks outside, with the snow running away in swift rivulets down each side of the street, the hillsides exposed to scattered little birds and nervous squirrels looking for last autumn’s seeds and nuts, the buds on the forsythia fattening, the weak sun casting pale shadows from behind the light gray clouds and my neighbor across the street in her shirtsleeves, I would swear it was a day in spring.  Winter still has three weeks I know, and anything can happen.  This being New England I am sure anything will happen.  I have seen azalea blossoms on new fallen snow in May.  So I know.

But, wrens sang me awake this morning and fat squirrels scampered across the snow piled lawn.  I looked at my wife beside me and smiled, deciding I really didn’t need two cups of tea when I noticed I could not hear the gurgle of the water in the pot or the furnace in the basement kick on to drive the cold back outside where it belonged.  I was warmed already and awakened quite enough by the songs, the smiles and the discretion of the sun behind the softness of the sky.

There was a fair crowd of folks at St. Patrick’s Church for the Noon Mass.  I saw quite a number of people I know; some growing up, some growing older.  Father announced that we’d be offering the Mass for the Pope on the last day of his papacy as the bishop had asked of us.  It is hard not to love the man, and even more hard to try to understand the many people who don’t love him, and are happy to see him go.

Just before Mass began I read something he wrote which was quoted in the book by Ryan Topping: “Rebuilding Catholic Culture”:   “I can still smell the carpets of flowers and the freshness of the birch trees; I can recall the decorations on all the houses, the banners, the singing; I can still hear the village band, which, on this occasion, sometimes even ventured more than it could!  I can hear the firing of guns by which the local youth celebrated their own joie de vivre while, at the same time, saluting Christ as the Head of State, the Lord of the world, and welcoming him to their streets and into their village.  The perpetual presence of Christ was celebrated on this day as though it were a state visit in which not even the smallest village was forgotten.”

And, I remembered my own participations is such celebrations years ago; years and years ago.  Dr. Topping went on to write of the Pope’s recollection: “The silent background of such memories is most often the faith of parents.”  I’ll not go on from there, other than to say it is a deep truth he tells.  I do not know where I would be, or could I think about the day as I am, were it not for my mother and father, my grandmothers, and the walks we took, the stories they told about their own days, the prayers we said.  I was made rich by that inheritance.

What a poverty some find themselves in for their lack of one!  What greater poverty comes to those who never will know it existed.

I will take today, because I know it for the gift it is, Who gives it and how to receive it with thanks..

Pope Benedict XVI is fond, we have heard, of playing Mozart on his piano.  In his honor, then, I offer this sublime piece of music for your contemplation. Mozart composed it six short months before he died.  May it bless your day, and may the Maker of all that sings and Creator of every song bless you:


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