I was up early for lab work, not early enough, as three people were ahead of me waiting for the doors to open at 7:00.  Required fasting is an incentive to be out and about. It went easily though and I saw the traffic go from light to a little heavier, and heavier still after I stopped at the store, though I was home by 8:15.

It’s an odd thing, this watching the world and day come to life and light. In summer, it would have been bright, but this time of year, the darkness and the light dance a slow, blended exchange.

I’m reading A Pilgrimage to Eternity by Timothy Egan.  He travels along the Via Francigena, the pilgrim’s trail from Canterbury to Rome.  His motivation is his mother who has passed. He wants to understand her belief in Catholicism even though after birthing seven children, the Church said she shouldn’t have a hysterectomy even though if she didn’t, she would die.  She stood by the Church when the abuse of children by priests was exposed, even when abuse was exposed in their home.  

I’m intrigued with the book because my father was a faithful Catholic.  Of course, he passed in 1969, years before the abuse was exposed, and yet, though his father died when he was young, he only received guidance and support from the priests in the church.

What’s most shocking about the book is the conflicts, wars, crusades, often Christian against Christian, and here we are today, still arguing and fighting, led and misled by those who benefit from division and discord.  

Egan is on this journey because he feels a “malnutrition of the soul”. He says we are spiritual beings, and he’s motivated by the words of Saint Augustine.  “Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the vast compass of the ocean, the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”

We are entering a sacred time of year.  We gather for the holidays and give thanks. Oh, how long the list when we pause to consider all the gifts.

My grandchild is now one month old, and pronounced “perfect” by his pediatrician.  He’s quite a little being, and my heart floats with the desire that this world he’s now part of can come to the listening, understanding, and compromise that nourishes and nurtures education, communication, and peace.   

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