We went to Massachusetts at the end of July for the first long trip since the pandemic started. It was for a memorial for my wife’s mother who had died of Covid-19 in May 2020 at age 89. She caught the disease in a New Jersey nursing home, and by the time she was admitted to a hospital there didn’t seem to be much they could do to help. Arrangements were made to transport her remains to where her long time home had been in the Berkshires where she was interred with no one to witness, which seemed a great lack.
I have been attracted to religion from an early age, though I have lots of friends and acquaintances who have no interest in it or have an active dislike of it. Towards them I bear no ill will, though I understand that this blog post is probably not going to be their kind of thing. For Lent I listened to the audiobook version of Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upward as my assignment and it was an experience of a contrary way of looking and doing things.
Twice a year, during Advent and Lent, I try to do some spiritual reading as a discipline, and this Lent I’m reading St. Teresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle, generally accounted to be a masterpiece of contemplation. The idea is that the human soul is pictured as a transparent castle containing many rooms, sort of a diamond cloister, the most impregnable fortress against the dangers of the outside world. It was natural that this member of a cloistered order would write based upon something she knew, of course, but the interesting thing will be how much I can make of this idea living in the world.