Thursday, July 30, 2020

The End of July and All That Stuff

It's the end of July 2020, and I have no big reflections. Today is the feast of Saint Peter Chrysologus, the fifth century Archbishop of Ravenna and the greatest Church Father you've never heard of. It was in the days of the waning of the Western Roman Empire and the rise of this city on the Adriatic as the center of what remained of the imperial world on the Italian peninsula over the coming centuries.

Tomorrow, of course is the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Then we're off into the month of August of this crazy year.

Nothing is predictable. We live day by day. Yet one must plan certain things... The PLAN for August 8, 2020 is still "ON" as of now, and is as sure a bet to happen as any human thing can be in the scheme of things. Of course, Coronavirus still has a week and a half to cause unexpected problems. Maybe the world will shut down again. Who knows?

But my son and his bride are determined to get married a week from Saturday even if they have to do it in hazmat suits.

As it now stands, there will be a small, careful, but happy event. With lots of bridesmaids (she has three sisters and, of course, he has four). There is talk of a livestream video on some platform or other (many friends and relatives will not be able to attend, so we'll have to jump on this new trendy bandwagon, which has turned out to be such a help this year for so many things). 

I hope we'll have some nice pictures. But more on all of this in the coming days. Please pray that everything goes well. May God grant it!

That reminds me that I wanted to share the Collect Prayer for this, the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time in the Latin Rite Liturgical Year. It's well suited to our present awareness of the need for God, who alone is our "firm foundation," to give us an "abundance" of his mercy, to "grant that...we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure." We know that even the good things of this world pass away, but they are not meant to be futile. They are "signs" meant to guide us to our enduring home where the meaning of all things will become clear and goodness will find fulfillment.

I will conclude with an excerpt from an Easter Homily of Saint Peter-With-the-Golden-Words, whose words gain all their brilliance from the glory of the face of Jesus and their emphasis on his great love:
The Risen Jesus says to the disciples, "'Peace be with you! It is I. Do not fear.'" (See Luke 24:36 and following. The Archbishop continues, commenting in the 'voice' of Jesus:) "'It is I, the One who was crucified, dead, and buried. It is I, in and of myself God, but for your sake a man. It is I, not a ghost in the form of flesh, but Truth itself in the flesh. It is I. Back from the dead, I am alive; back from the underworld, I am from heaven. It is I whom death has fled, at whom hell has trembled, whom Tartarus, shuddering, has confessed as God. Do not fear: Peter, on account of your denial; John, on account of having fled; all of you, on account of having deserted me, of forming judgments about me with every one of your thoughts devoid of faith, and of still not believing even though you see me. Do not fear, it is I, who have called you by means of grace, have chosen and pardoned you, have sustained you by my steadfast kindness, have supported you with my love, and out of goodness alone I now take you back, because when a father receives his son, and when affection recovers its own, neither one is able to see any faults.'"