“I think you richly deserve a dispensation from any booze deprivation! I hereby, by the sacerdotal powers invested in me - dispense you.” These words were spoken today, via e-mail and with an appropriate degree of whimsy, by my friend.
And so the plague is upon us, spread by our globalized and globalist “one-size-fits-all” culture. I'm doing my best to stay aloof by staying disengaged from the media and its hysteria-inducement. The whole thing is beginning to impact me, however, because I have a busy travel schedule on the horizon, commencing with a Chesterton Conference at Franciscan University next weekend, which has already been cancelled.
The highlight of this past week has been our daughter’s birthday. A leap day baby, she has now turned twelve years old on her third birthday, which was what was written in icing on her cake. She had a great party, with six or seven friends. All the usual fare, cakes, cookies, et cetera, but also some great party games.
“Hey! Chickens! Get out of the car!” This was the yell I heard as we were preparing to leave for Mass on Ash Wednesday. Susannah had evidently left the minivan open while going back and forth from the house and had returned to discover the chickens exploring its interior.
It’s a fairly safe bet that most people do not know that today (February 21) is the Feast Day of St. Robert Southwell, who was martyred on this day in 1595, at the age of 33, the same age as Our Lord had been when he became the First and Archetypal Martyr.
It was my birthday yesterday and my wife and eleven-year-old daughter contrived an England-themed feast for me. We had one of my favourite meals, cottage pie, with parsnips and brussels sprouts. The dining room and stairs were festooned with cross-of-St. George flags and balloons.
I’m looking out the window at a beautiful scene with ugly consequences. The snow falls relentlessly blanketing everything in pristine splendor, which means that I might be trapped in Colorado and unable to escape its ice-bound grip. My flight is scheduled to leave at 5:45 this evening but I have every expectation of a delay (at best) or, more likely, a cancellation. Should the flight not be cancelled, I’m not relishing the drive to the airport in these wintry conditions. One way or the other, the day ahead is going to be challenging.
How can one not love a saint who glories in the name of Gildas the Wise? Today is his feast day.
Today is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and journalists, which leads me to make a confession. I confess that I don’t feel any particular affection or affiliation with my patron, though I obviously treat him with the deference and reverence he deserves and commands as a saint of the Church. It’s not his holiness that leaves me cold (obviously!) but the tone and tenor of his writing. It strikes me as fluffy and florid, and even feminine. No wonder he was a hit with the ladies!
As I write, I’m looking down from my upstairs office window at my wife as she tends to the chickens and ducks. She’s wrapped up warm, indicative of the chill turn in the weather. That said, and taking a quick look at the thermometer outside my office window, 47 degrees is hardly chilling, considering the time of the year. It’s just that the temperature has been nudging the 60s over the past few days.