At Mass, the priest reminded us that today is not only the Feast of the Transfiguration but also the anniversary of the atomic bomb getting dropped on Hiroshima. He also talked about the call today to fast and pray for the persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria. He made the sobering announcement that the for the first time in 1600 years, no Mass has been celebrated in Mosul for nearly a month. A place where no Mass is celebrated is as barren as one that has been vaporized by a nuclear bomb, spiritually speaking.
The Holy Father talked today about the ways we waste time on this earth. I'm as guilty as anyone of some of the offenses. Sometimes I think it might not be such an awful thing if a solar flare knocked out the power grid. Then we'd all be in the same boat. I'm sure some would disagree.
Russian hackers stole over a billion passwords. The more dependent we become on technology, the more vulnerable we are.
ABC News ran a story on how fast food isn't fast enough for some people. Apparently, having to wait 3 minutes for a Big Mac is asking too much. Hmmm
For Father's Day the kids gave my husband a boxed set of the HBO series "The Pacific". I loved "Band of Brothers " ( the late Bill Guarnere lived around the corner from us when I was a kid). It was tough to love its Pacific front counterpart. One of the protagonists, an unlikely Marine, wrote a book about his experience and this series is based in part on what has been called one of the best war memoirs ever written. The battle of Okinawa was a particularly gruesome and difficult installment to watch. After living for nearly a month in mud, maggots and decaying bodies, it became a source of ire to return home and hear people complain about their coffee not being hot enough or their service at the counter not fast enough.
I can't believe that I am going to say this, but I am. As horrific as the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, I don't know that the alternative was that much better. When will men learn?
All of the unrest in this world is rooted in greed and power. There is only one remedy, but fewer and fewer people are turning to Him. At our meager dinner tonight I reminded the kids of the plea to make sacrifices and pray for the persecuted Christians. There was no mention of this at any Mass that any of us attended on Sunday, though I would venture to bet that at the Maronite-Rite church we are increasingly attending, it most probably was.
The battle over immigration continues. Every night after dinner we take a walk through the nearby open air market that is home to Italian, Asian and Latino merchants. The last group opens their shops practically at daybreak and they don't close until late at night. The whole family is involved in running the business. In that sense, their shops are not only their living but a daily social event. Both parents are present along with the children. The merchants tend to "visit" with their fellow shopkeepers in the evening. There is nothing threatening about family closeness and hard work.
There was a study recently that looked at the lives of the poor and it concluded that they live more meaningful lives. It's not hard to believe when you think about it.
A few months back I watched a PBS documentary on the Amish ritual of shunning. An off-camera interview took place with an Amish woman who described her daily routine - getting up at 5 am, making breakfast, gathering the family for devotions before everyone goes off to school or their work around the farm. She described how when she is going about her work, even while doing the dishes, she can feel her soul "kneeling before the Lord."
Sometimes I worry that I am not even aware of my own soul. It simply isn't possible to offer all my daily prayers before the Blessed Sacrament, and yet I struggle so much to truly converse with Jesus when I can't pray in a church or chapel. I've concluded that although my pleasures in life could hardly be described as anything but simple, I need to work more on self-denial and mortifying my senses. I used to wake up every morning with a burning desire to receive Jesus. Now it's a struggle to get out of bed on the mornings when it is possible to attend Mass before work. When I make it to evening Mass, my mind wanders to what I'm going to make for dinner. I'm seriously flawed.
One thing in my favor is this: I often wake up at night praying the Hail Mary. I don't know why it happens, but it does. Some people talk in their sleep or sleep walk; I apparently pray the Hail Mary. I'm not going to even attempt to explain how or why this happens but simply accept this as a gift and pray it continues.
God bless you.