Maybe I just wasn't paying attention in years past, but I don't recall ever having seen the dogwood trees blooming so magnificently as they are now. Especially in the little valleys or coolees between the hills, where they are joyously shining like so many bright snowflakes caught in mass profusion, one can't help but catch one's breath and in the next give thanks and praise to God for the glorious beauty of His creation.
Cherokee County is rough country, and the roads are mostly lined with weeds and brushy scrub oak like the kind pictured above. Against such a backdrop, the graceful, almost delicate dogwoods stand out like diamonds in a rockpile. The contrast is astonishing. This calls to mind what we are called by Our Lord to be in the world: the light, the salt, and the leaven, the sheep amongst the goats, the blossoming dogwoods amongst the twisted, barren brush of a fallen world.
"By their fruits, you will know them," said Our Lord, or even perhaps by their blossoms. When others look at us, do they see brave little blossoms of white, or leafless giants good for nothing but to house crows and vultures? Let us imitate the humble dogwoods, going unnoticed the rest of the year, but giving glorious testimony of the Heavenly Gardener in Paschaltide. Amen. +
Six weeks' shy of one year of being unemployed. Nobody wants to hire a 61-year-old. Nowhere to live on a permanent basis (a nice way of saying I am homeless, were it not for the charity of a very generous couple who take the precepts of the Church seriously in the area of the corporal works of mercy.)
I have moved four times in the past year and will soon be faced with moving once again. I have a dog who refuses to wear a collar, come near a leash, or get in my car. Our continued relationship is therefore not looking good.
And let's not even bring up the dreaded "C" word. I do, however, now own a face mask.
But I have much to be grateful for. I am still relatively healthy. I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I have friends who care and a son who loves me. And most of all, I have God. What more can one want?
In the words of the Benedictines, "Ora et labora," or "work and pray." Hopefully the "labora" part will materialize soon...
The past few months have been apocalyptically challenging. For all of us. My life of late has been like leaping across a raging river, hopping from one slippery stone to the next, trying not to fall in. My only source of strength has been Jesus, especially Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Like many people, I often pray the Anima Christi prayer after receiving. In English, the first verse is "Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me." In Latin: "Anima Christi, sanctifica me. Corpus Christi, salva me. Sanguis Christi, inebria me. Aqua lateris Christi, lava me."
The video below has been in my YouTube feed for months and months. I did not listen to it until a few minutes ago. I do not know who the nuns in this video are, where they live, or what Order they belong to. Nor do I care. All I know is, until a few minutes ago, nothing short of pharmaceutical drugs has heretofore been able to calm my relentlessly lacerated emotions. Until now.
Listen and weep and thank God for the surprisingly beautiful and poignantly holy things in this world. They still exist. We still exist. Be amazed, and be thankful. Even now. Especially now...
The opinions expressed on this website are my own personal views and do not necessarily represent those of the Catholic Church.
If I have erred in any statement, whether directly or by implication, in any matter pertaining to faith or morals, I humbly invite fraternal correction.