The fact was that Ives, uncertain of many things, could at that time of year sit rather effortlessly within the incense- and candle-wax-scented confines of a church, like Saint Patrick's, thinking about the images, ever present and timeless, that seemed to speak especially to him. Not about the cheery wreaths, the boughs of pine branches, the decorative ivy and flowers set out here and there, but rather about the Christ child, whose meaning evoked for him a feeling for "the beginning of things," a feeling that time and all its sufferings had fallen away.
Ives finds great solace in the sanctuary of churches. Ives is Catholic, but, during the novel, he visits churches of many denominations and faiths. God, whether Jesus Christ or Jehovah or Yahweh or Allah, fills him with peace and comfort. The paragraph above describes a Christmas, but the Catholic Mass is always full of incense and candle-wax, especially at the high holy days, including Easter.
Tonight I will be in church from 9 p.m. until, probably, around midnight. It's the Easter Vigil, the most beautiful celebration in the Catholic year. There were be bells and chanting and reading and baptisms. The walls will be washed with flickering candlelight. Yes, it's long, but there is so much beauty and hope during those three hours. For me, that's God's love number forty-six: Easter hope. Things are going to be alright.
My daughter will be an acolyte at the Easter Vigil Mass. She's fourteen, so the fact that I can get her to go to church willingly (and then actually participate) is an Easter miracle. Okay, maybe not willingly, but the pastor of the church can be very persuasive. He's a very loveable guy, Kind and gentle. That's an extra example of God's love today: my daughter loving God, in her fourteen-year-old way.
The last Billy Collins poem I have for you today could be for my daughter. That's why I chose it.
Saint Marty is just full of love this Holy Saturday.
To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl
by: Billy Collins
Do you realize that if you had started building the Parthenon
on the day you
you would be all done in only one more year?
Of course, you
couldn’t have done that all alone.
So never mind; you’re fine just being
You’re loved for just being you.
But did you know that at your
Judy Garland was pulling down 150,000 dollars a picture,
Joan of Arc
was leading the French army to victory
and Blaise Pascal had cleaned up his
— no wait, I mean he had invented the calculator?
Of course, there
will be time for all that later in your life,
after you come out of your room
and begin to blossom,
or at least pick up all your socks.
For some reason
I keep remembering that
Lady Jane Grey was queen of England when she was only
But then she was beheaded,
so never mind her as a role model.
centuries later, when he was your age,
Franz Schubert was doing the dishes
for his family,
but that did not keep him from composing two symphonies, four
operas and two complete masses as a youngster.
But of course, that was in
Austria at the height of Romantic lyricism,
not here in the suburbs of
Frankly, who cares if Annie Oakley was a crack shot at 15
Maria Callas debuted as Tosca at 17?
We think you’re special just being you
playing with your food and staring into space.
By the way, I lied about
Schubert doing the dishes,
but that doesn’t mean he never helped out around
Confessions of Saint Marty