I am back from a few weeks vacation:
If pressed, I will admit that conditions were not quite this bad, but to say that they were entirely unlike this would also be false. It was a great vacation nonetheless.
All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
One or two people may have noticed that things have been a little quiet around here of late. This is because things have not been quiet elsewhere, and I’ve had little to no leisure.
I have been learning that selling a house is an all-consuming activity. We were advised to “de-clutter” prior to listing the house, and so, after several weeks of sorting and sifting and packing, this past weekend we moved a fair bit of furniture and about 80 boxes out of the house and into storage. I am still trying to understand the mindset of people who consider books to be “clutter”.
With that out of the way, we turn our attention to little matters like painting, scrubbing, staining, fixing, and generally beautifying the place. It’s a lovely house, and I can’t see why someone shouldn’t want it. But it will be even lovelier when we’re through. I hope.
Did I mention that the only time I have to do any of this work is when I should be in bed?
In the middle of all this was Easter: Happy Easter! It was the tenth anniversary of my reception into the Catholic Church, and I had really been looking forward to it. It turned out to be the worst Triduum that I can remember: we had to leave the Holy Thursday Mass early because the kids were crazed, we were terribly late for the Good Friday service, and I even missed the start of the Vigil Mass (which, if you’ve never been, is the best part). Between times, when I would normally want to think about Easter, I was instead thinking about boxes and tape and cleaning supplies and when I went to the church it felt as though I had parachuted in from another realm.
But there was much to be thankful for, all the same. Our wonderful priests, who delivered some of the most thoughtful and provoking homilies that I can ever remember hearing, celebrated all of the Triduum liturgies with great beauty and solemnity. Being there was a balm. We really are blessed to have found our parish (and now, of course, we will really miss it). We are thankful for friends and family who, in the middle of all of this exhausting activity, are lending a hand when and where they can. Mostly we’re just thankful for Easter.
Every year at about this time I write a few posts about my favourite books, music, and films from the past year. This year will, I hope, be no exception, and I am busily at work. Not that anyone much cares, of course, but it is an enjoyable exercise for me.
Last year I think I jammed in all the posts between Christmas and New Year’s, but this year I want to spread them out a little. My plan is to complete roughly one such post each week until the end of the year.
Even the best-laid plans…
Incidentally, that last post was the 1000th since the launch of All Manner of Thing. It’s a nice milestone. Congratulatory gifts will be gratefully accepted, especially if you can find one or two of these:
Modesty becomes me, but I do believe things have improved a little:
I have often had occasion to reflect on the fact that living in Toronto is hell, but these past weeks — and especially today — it is truer than ever.
Apparently last night was the hottest night on record for the city, and although today’s blast from Beelzebub’s bellows is projected to fall just short of the all-time heat record, it is most unpleasant all the same. I bought some ice cream but it melted before I could eat it. This evening I intend to cook sausages by simply setting them outside.
(That ‘Feels Like:’ temperature folds in the humidity. I don’t know if places that are perpetually hot and humid do that or not. 49°C is 120°F.)
At times like this I find myself wishing that winter would come, as I generally tolerate cold weather better than hot. But then I checked the weather at the South Pole. Would I rather be there? Probably not.
The most recent post at The Hebdomadal Chesterton is on-topic.
I have heard it said that Mass ought to be a window into the heavenly liturgy that is perpetually celebrated before the throne of God Almighty: cherubim and seraphim crying Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus; the prayers of the faithful rising up like incense; and row upon row of saints rapt in adoration.
It is rare, of course, for the humble liturgy here below to live up to that high standard. I do believe, however, that I may have had a foretaste at our parish, and it came in a way that I had never anticipated. As we approached the moment of consecration, all kneeling and quiet in prayer, I heard an urgent whispering from behind me, and it said:
Stop it, Augustine! Give that back to Dominic!
I admit: I smiled.