Posted by: Peadar Ban | October 11, 2014

Today, October 11, 2014

It’s Not What It Seems

Even though the weather report says today will be a fair day, and the temperature is now 44F, that isn’t the case at all.  The sky is a uniform slate gray, and were this two months from now, I’d expect snow would begin falling at any minute.  At the called for temperature, the predicted one, that wouldn’t happen of course.  What would happen in December is one of its  cruel rains would fall and coat the world in ice, or a chilling mist that keeps the kids inside once they’ve had a run.  No fear of that today.  I was just out filling the bird feeders and things are at least ten degrees warmer than 44.  Not a breeze stirred limb or leaf, and at 8:00am it was as quiet as midnight in my neighborhood.  Looking at the houses round about, and all the darkened windows, I couldn’t be sure that everyone was there; that they hadn’t been raptured away, and only I am left to tell the tale.  The hungry birds and I.

A crow across the street calls hoarsely into the gray day from a tall pine, and no answer comes.  Things are happening, somewhere.  Nothing’s happening here.  And, now, he’s silent.  The birds are back at their feeders, though; a few of them.  I’d taken the feeders down and brought them to the shed to fill when I first went out.  The little chickadees, finches, titmice and woodpeckers that are the most steady customers were what attracted my attention to the fact they were empty.  And while I stood filling the one we use for the woodpeckers I turned around because I heard a tiny sound back up by the post on the hill.  There was a small confused woodpecker, come for breakfast and finding the place out of business.  He hovered at all the “stations” where hang the several feeders when they’re filled, lighted atop the thing and tried to figure out, I mused, if the feeders too had been raptured away.  When I’d done putting the seeds and nuts in his feeder I walked back to the tall post to hang it.  He watched me briefly and then flew off.  I smiled and thought, “You can feed some of the birds…”  And I remembered that saying that has been with me for, oh, so many years, “In the great boarding house of the universe, the pancakes, butter and syrup never come out even.”  No one, really is ever filled, ever satisfied, here.

That job done, and my dew-drenched shoes still dry on the inside, I considered whether I should do the feeders at the front of the house.  They were empty, too.  But was I, dressed as I was in my “night clothes” with a long blue bathrobe on, fit for the street?  What would the sight of me be like for folks in all those dark and silent houses?  I smiled considering that, and went ahead.  The birds, I knew, would enjoy the seeds.  And my neighbors might enjoy the site of the doughty and daft old man wandering around in his PJs.

I turned up Hildegard Bingen on my “electronic device” and finished the job, noticing a few little winged things coming in for a landing as I went back inside.  They didn’t care how I looked I thought, as long as the job was done right.

Here are some little bits culled from My Catholic, a site I use as my home page.  I was particularly attracted to them this morning when I read them earlier before I went outside.  I thought about them, especially St Augusine’s.  As Fats Waller was fond of saying: “One never knows, do one?”

Saint of the Day

Bl. Angela Truszkowska (1825-1899)
Angela was the well-educated child of noble, devout Catholic parents. From her childhood, she was drawn to prayer and genuine concern for others. She worked tirelessly for the poor, and founded the Felician Sisters. She is best known for her childlike love, her imitation of the virtues of Mary, and her Eucharistic spirituality.

Reflections from the Saints

Believe that others are better than you in the depths of their soul, although outwardly you may appear better than they.

– St. Augustine

One Minute Meditations

The Struggle
Whoever really wants to achieve sanctity, takes no breaks or holidays.

– St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #129

Scripture Verse of the Day

Luke 12:29-31

And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

Life in Christ: Catechism #2441

An increased sense of God and increased self-awareness are fundamental to any full development of human society. This development multiplies material goods and puts them at the service of the person and his freedom. It reduces dire poverty and economic exploitation. It makes for growth in respect for cultural identities and openness to the transcendent.

Here is the text of the lovely chant: Ave Generosa
 I behold you,
noble, glorious and whole woman,
the pupil of purity.
You are the sacred matrix
in which God takes great pleasure.

The essences of Heaven flooded into you,
and the Great Word of God dressed itself in flesh.

You appeared as a shining white lily,
as God looked upon you before all of Creation.

O lovely and tender one,
how greatly has God delighted in you.
For He has placed His passionate embrace within you,
so that His Son might nurse at your breast.

Your womb held joy,
with all the celestial symphony sounding through you,
Virgin, who bore the Son of God,
when your purity became luminous in God.

Your flesh held joy,
like grass upon which dew falls,
pouring its life-green into it,
and so it is true in you also,
o Mother of all delight.

Now let all Ecclesia shine in joy
and sound in symphony
praising the most tender woman,
Mary, the bequeather/seed-source of God.


It’s raining softly now, and the birds are finishing up their morning meal.  I can’t decide whether it will be a Waller kind of day or a Hildegarde kind of day.  But, it never is what it seems, down here anyway.  Is it?  Ave, generosa Maria, help me at least not misbehave today.


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