Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bulletin From Babylon

Hoping to wean myself from the computer and Internet during this vacation, in anticipation of the limits I'm going to live within come Kansas and California. Still, I intend to give you glimpses of a day in the life of a religious brother on the way.

Herewith follows the first of daily bulletins from a brother on vacation.

Sojourning in West Babylon, N.Y., at my parents' house. Morning meditation and prayer sitting in a rocking chair facing the east window of the guest room. Eight o'clock Mass at Our Lady of Grace among about forty parishioners in the Mary chapel behind the sanctuary's main altar. Following Eucharist, walked the newly built labyrinth in the meditation garden, landscaped afresh to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the parish. Walked to the West Babylon Public Library and spent an hour and a half reading; pulled an earlier volume of Robert Caro's biography The Years of Lyndon Johnson from the shelves. Walked home and waited for my old friend Jon Link, my high school English teacher, to pick me up. Jon and I meet up like this once or twice a year. We had brunch at Glen's Dinette, our usual hangout in Babylon Village. Jon asked all kinds of questions about religious life, and I did a lot of talking. We connect deeply and intimately; Jon is a brother in spirit. Back home after brunch, I met my mother, back from her job as a paraprofessional at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, where she works one-on-one with a special needs child. Together we took a walk around our neighborhood blocks and talked a bit. Computing and correspondence through the afternoon; completed a survey for religious from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University. Now, to evening meditation and prayer in the guest room, then dinner out with my parents and Nicholas. There will be no home-cooked meals here for several weeks; the kitchen and dining room renovations have begun!

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