|my dashing friend Christine, of Palm Springs CA and |
Christine is the one who frequently lends me her house...
remember the hummingbird nest?...
You all contributed the TRULY princely sum of $2, 275.07. The previous record for a single donation was surpassed by I am bound to say, and I hope they won't kill me, fellow questing artists Morgan Meis/Stefany Anne Golberg/The Huckleberry Explorer's Club of Schwenksville, PA. I am going to pay forward 10% and the rest I will put in my Camino fund. Where, if I go, I can continue to pray for you kind, generous souls...
Hearing from people all over the country and beyond was a blast.
Out here in the dez, I have been observing my deep gratitude, and also my deep suspicion, fear, angst: in short, the human condition.
The sainted Fr. Pat "Jesus Spoils Us" Dooling of Monterey, CA gave me a book for Christmas called Streams of Grace: A Selection of Letters of the Abbe of Tourville (1842-1903).
A few excerpts:
"Live 'without fuss,' as St. Francois de Sales used to say; by which he meant, do quite simply the best you can as you feel you can. I have heard good Mother N---- say that there was nothing she liked more than nuns who had the common sense not to want to be perfect in those aspects which they felt incapable of, and willingly recognized that they were nothing special. Humility and simplicity help us better than anyone else to acquire the right frame of mind to grow toward perfection."
"We are truly on the way of perfection when we recognize and, I must add, accept ourselves as being full of imperfections; not that, no doubt, we shall not tell ourselves that we can do better, but in this sense that we know that we shall always be a very long way from being perfect...Let us be quite willing to say, "After careful consideration I realize that I am no more than, and I am not better than, anyone else." [I starred that line]. It really is very strange how much, once it has been fully accepted, this feeling relieves us of all tension and brings us into the calm spirit of the Gospels. A spirit which seems so sublime, as indeed it is, but which in fact is none other than the spirit of unshakeable humility."
"We are troubled much less by the present bad state of affairs than by the idea we have that things could be better, ought to be better, and that we ought to be able to make them better. So we are worn out by our efforts, aspirations and hopes. We behave like people who feel they ought to be able to prevent the seasonal variations in the weather, spending their time blowing the clouds away from the sun and making great bonfires in order to warm the countryside in Autumn.
So, my dear child, you will eventually learn that the miseries of human life are infinite, which is all very sad, but it ought not to disturb you any more than do the changing seasons...So our soul gives up the vain hope of doing away with all its little defects and follows its own modest way. Taking its own modest safeguards and using its own modest means to carry on, it is not shocked by the number of times it falls, nor by its many failures, nor by the continuous run of misfortunes which befall it. But it holds on cheerfully to what little, in one way or another, it has been able to achieve in overcoming evil...This is the path that is open to us all, weak and human as we are. In one form or another it is the path that all the saints have trod. Don't let us expect wonders from ourselves, but let us be content with small victories. Let us live happily as the servants of the best of masters, who has said to us, "Because you have been faithful in small things I will entrust you with greater.' "