Instead of Scripture, a line of religious poetry:
All life comes from tenderness.
"Hope," Charles Peguy
Catching up with America, which has become a more interesting read since Jesuit Fr. Matt Malone became the editor-in-chief. Can't wait to curl up again, after Christmas, with a heavy tome.
Also on my select reading list: the greeting cards I have received from friends back east. Thank you, my sisters and brothers, for your prayers and your words of encouragement. You can be assured of my constant remembrance of you to our loving, just, and merciful God. You give me inspiration, in the full meaning of the word. I breathe because you have showed me how good and lovely the Holy Spirit is. I can breathe because you have taught me how to take in the Spirit. This solemnity has been elevated because of your silent and invisible presence, the mysterious complement to my brothers' sonorous and visible presence.
A gentle day, an easy day, but an active one, at San Lorenzo. After Mass this morning, hosing down and sweeping the chapel plaza and the sidewalks to clear the debris the rains brought down from the trees. This afternoon, in between schola practice for the midnight Mass and 9 o'clock morning Mass and a quick phone call to my mother and brother, more work on the newsletter. We're getting there but we'll be dashing to finish production in time for publication on Saturday because we're waiting for photos from Christmas Day festivities and a couple more articles.
I am ready to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. Now, attempting the improbable: an evening nap to rise refreshed for the midnight celebration and social following. Then, with luck, another five to six hours' rest before morning prayer at eight-thirty and Mass, where I will serve as cantor.
Though I desire to get as much sleep as I can, I am looking forward to the social after Mass. At that hour, I
will break 53 days of fasting (eating less, skipping meals) and abstinence (eating no meat and no animal products). I have almost forgotten what chicken tastes like! I promised to post here about what the craving and hunger felt like, what I did with those feelings, and what this discipline did for my prayer habits and general practices of faith. I have not done this yet, and I apologize. Perhaps in a few more days.
Warm during the day, a little nippy in the late afternoon, holding steady at this hour. But my heart feels happily warmed.