Add to the weather earthquakes. Shortly after 5:00 AM this morning, about two miles south of Bluffdale, Utah there was an earthquake measuring 3.2 on the Richter Scale and another one that pushed the needle to 3.7. They were far enough away that we did not feel them where I live (north and one valley away) but not so far away that they don't make me a bit anxious.
I am firmly convinced that in explaining to his closest disciples what signs will portend the end of the world, Jesus was being ironic, if not a bit sarcastic (Gasp!). When you consider the things he tells them to look for- wars, rumors of wars, natural and man-made disasters, catastrophes of various kinds, including earthquakes, he is describing life in the world. Can you think of an historical era in which such things weren't the stuff of human life? His point? God is on his way and these things are his chariot.
Due to having a million and one things going on, I neglected to put up a traditio last Friday. If I had, it would've been the one I am offering today: Oingo Boingo's "We Close Our Eyes." For me, this song is a hymn:
I looked Death in the face last nightSt. Francis called her "Sister Death." Today it is easy to memento mori, that is, to remember death.
I saw him in a mirror
And he simply smiled
He told me not to worry
He told me just to take my time
Shortly after Christmas, I listened to an episode of the Jesuitical podcast that featured Pauline Sister Theresa Aletheia, who keeps a skull on her desk, as guest. Sr. Theresa Aletheia insists that rather than being morbid, reflection on death "is a healthy and often healing practice that helps us accept the inevitable with hope." To paraphrase something Eric Idle said in the lead up to the Monty Python troupe's final public performances a few years back: We're only here for, like, ten minutes. As my Dad lay dying on a cold winter day just a bit more than 8 years ago, he was recalling some childhood memories with his many cousins. He stopped and looked at me with his pale blue eyes and said, "It goes by fast."
There is some good news today. I see patches of blue sky this morning, which promises at least some sunshine. Hopefully enough to go for a walk and pray the Rosary. Even though it's Friday, which in my old-fashioned way, I observe as a day of penance, I am inclined to meditate on the Glorious Mysteries. As a friend wrote to me in a letter about this time last year: "Easter is coming. Easter is always on its way." I need some Easter today.