Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Asylums, writers, and St Isidore the farmer

acts 20:28-38; Ps 68 Sing to God, O kingdom of the earth; John 17:11-19

"If I didn't know the ending of a story, I wouldn't begin. I always write my last lines, my last paragraph first, and then I go back and work towards it. I know where I'm going. I know what my goal is. And how I get there is God's grace" so wrote Katherine Ann Porter .

We know the ending.  We know the story.  We know where it leads regardless if we know or not know the details of the journey completely, the end is always on our mind. 

We can pretend we don't know and there are those who do this and thus they justify their selfish existence. 
We can let ourselves forget and go through life with self impose amnesia, but in the end our soon willour memory be jarred.

We can try t avoid the end; we can zig and zag and get caught up in that hide & seek reality; but in the end, the lights will be turned on there will be no escape, no hiding.

Or we can embrace the end, keep it in mind, and let it determine the story of our lives, day by day, moment by moment. 

"And I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated."  These are the words of st. Paul in today's first reading as he bids farewell to the presbyters of Ephesus, perhaps on his way to Rome where eventually he will give his life. 

Then as to bring home to point he quotes Jesus himself, "keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,'It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Of all the words of Jesus, it is worth pausing to think as to why Paul chose these words as he departed.

These are the words that help reframe the journey so that we can keep the end in mind.  It is more blessed to give than to receive because because heaven is for those who give, only then do we receive. 

Today in the US history is the day in which first Asylum was opened. It was on this day in 1817 that the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason was founded in Philadelphia. It was the first private mental health hospital in the United States.

Asylum for the relief of persons deprived of the use of their reason, what a interesting way of describing mental illness.  IT changes things a bit if the reality of mental illness is seen in this light. 
Lastly, today we honor St. Isidore, patron of farmers. 
He is known not just for his ability to turn over fields with a plow but more importantly turning ordinary days  into special joyful times.

St Isidore was canonized at the same time as St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, St. Teresa Avila, St. Philip Neri.  Not bad company to keep.

No comments: