Posted by: Peadar Ban | March 31, 2014

Today, March 31, 2014 (A Pleasant Ache)

The Lamb of March seems this morning to have been kidnapped.  A cold rain, a bit of sleet, greeted me this morning; little pellets nipping at the windows.  Rain had come on with serious purpose yesterday, slacked off a bit in the afternoon, and returned with renewed vigor during the night.

April, that cruel month, will seem a pussycat compared to the past four weeks.  For all of that, though, the dearest freshness shows itself everywhere, even on gray, ice coated mornings.  Below the bare branches of the dwarf spireas at the front of the house tiny crocus leaves peek. Brave and eager for the light, heedless of the cold still lingering in the frost filled soil, the little green exclamations stab upward into Spring while most of Winter, long wished away, unfriendly lingers.

The rain has done its work though, along with the steady climb of the temperature.  Only across the street do continents of snow stay, sullen in the shade of dark pines; gray brutish things avoided by children now interested in bikes and jump ropes and the first few ball games.  All that remains nearby, here, are some Lonely Isles, and snow-pelagos beneath the trees where squirrels busily hunt for last year’s hidden harvest, and neighborhood cats wait patiently for them to walk into their mouths; or birds to fall there.

Don’t keep score.  Birds and squirrels know who and where they are.  They meet far above them to scold feline presumption and insolence and sing warnings to any newcomers.

Now the sun brushes aside the thinning cloud curtain.  Perhaps it means today to send Winter at last away.

Such being the case, I will oil my leaf rakes and get ready to ache this evening from shoulders to toes.  It will be a pleasant ache.


Here are some bits of stuff to read and wonder about.  I call them News Flashes From Home.  They are all about the same thing, really.  It never changes.  Strangely enough, though, it never gets old, arriving fresh on the doorstep every day.  Actually it arrives continuously.  One only needs to think, to read, to listen:

Saint of the Day

St. Benjamin (5th century)
Benjamin was a deacon was released from prison on the condition that he would never preach where he could be heard by the royal court. Thus, he became a street preacher. He was eventually arrested, tortured and martyred.

Reflections from the Saints

Without humility, there is no way of conquering anger.

– St. John Climacus

Scripture Verse of the Day

Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Life in Christ: Catechism #2199

The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it. This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents, instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who exercise authority over others or over a community of persons.

One Minute Meditations

My child, all the seas of this world are ours and the places where it is harder to fish are the places where it is all the more necessary.

– St. Josemaria Escriva
I’ve been thinking for the past few minutes about the first and the last little “flashes” together.  Two names flashed into my head in connection with them: St. Maximilian Kolbe and Larry, a schizophrenic man in my town here, who wanders the streets, dressed in rags and patches…looking “like a mountebank” to steal a phrase from Trollope… sleeping under a bridge in all kinds of weather and prays constantly; fishermen, both,  in hard and necessary places.
I like what the Catechism says about the presupposing done in the Fourth Commandment about the duties of “all who exercise authority”.  Don’t you?
Here are two pieces of music for your Spring listening.


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