Standing on the Edge

This is on my mind today…

“I don’t want to be in a battle… but waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse.” (1:13)

Schedules being schedules, I took my oldest to the college Mass last night. Something about Mass at the very end of the day instead of the beginning–it was bedtime by the time we got home–clears the mind. I fear that what Pippin said is where we are now in the world, and it’s hard to imagine how normal life can possibly go on. Even now, it feels all off to keep living life normally, as if nothing has changed. To share concerts and plan for vacations.

I keep thinking of all those World War 2 movies, and of Rilla of Ingleside, set in World War 1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The Nightingale. How all those characters reacted to the unthinkable. Stories, both historical and true in spirit, which we’ve admired complacently, thinking that was all over. Thinking we could fight our proxy wars and bicker with other countries, be appalled by and donate to relieve the suffering in other countries, without being really inconvenienced by them.

Last night, the Transfiguration reading went through a very different filter between my ear and my brain. I’ve always talked about how there are these glorious moments that come right before suffering, to give you the promise of the other side, the thing to cling to as you walk through the valley of the shadow. But it feels very different today. The Cross feels different today.

I prayed last night: God, if there is a way through this, can you nudge us so we stumble onto it? And if there isn’t, please give us the grace and fortitude for what is to come.

Lord, have mercy on us.

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