One of the “silver linings” in the pandemic is that it has increased people’s mindfulness about thanking others. Reports have indicated that people are sending digital and postal service cards and letters to thank folks. That is now that things have settled out a bit. In the early days when the “sheltering in place” orders came out our fears and anxieties were too much in the forefront of our minds. My point is that we can look to our own recent experience to understand the transition from the early days of Covid-19 to days of sheltered in place and new normal. As we no longer “strain against the way things are” we find a certain degree of freedom, and then our minds wander to the essentials. And saying “thank you” is right there at the top of the list. Continue reading
Gardens are a necessity. Vineyards are a sign of abundance beyond the necessary. As terrible a gardener as I am, I can get a crop of vegetables in several weeks’ time. Not so with a vineyard. Vineyards take a long time and hard work to develop. Try googling “starting a vineyard;” the results might surprise you. After you buy the land (and not just any location will do), it costs $20,000 a year per acre to cultivate a vineyard, and there is no cash flow for 3 to 5 years while you wait for the grapes to be good enough for the harvest. There is a lot of patient, intensive work and commitment. Vegetable gardens are near-term cash crop; you can change it up every year. Vineyards are a long-term investment with one fruit produced for one’s lifetime. Continue reading
Today there is an optional memorial: St. Cyril of Jerusalem. You can find the readings here. Along with Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril was a great defender of the Faith. St. Cyril’s is also noted for the twenty-three lectures given to catechumens in Jerusalem being prepared for, and after, baptism. Quite appropriate for this Lenten season.
Given my middle name is Cyril. I thought it good to celebrate this memorial, especially here in Lent. And given that I suspect this will be my last public Mass before our Bishop suspends all public masses because of the Covid-19 virus – I thought it good to offer some advice about being deeply rooted in Christ and still bearing fruit, even as the world around us sequesters in place. Continue reading
My friend and brother, Fr. Bill McConville, OFM
Immaculate Conception, Durham NC