Route 17 is a highway that winds its way past
Advent is quite the season for travelers who frequent Route 17 in late November and through December. The smaller stores along the highway are all decorated for Christmas. These stores bask in the wonderfully decorated shops that constitute the Malls that exist on both sides of 17.
There is even a place called
I am writing this in Ordinary Time, according to the liturgical calendar. To be specific, it is July 29th. It is a hot, humid afternoon. I just finished having lunch, which consisted of a peanut butter sandwich, chocolate chip cookies, a Coca-Cola and an olive. I am in
In a matter of months, I will be one of the multitude that drive past
On one of my recent visits down here, I was on my way to bed and passed my parents' bedroom. I looked in and saw my father in prayer, kneeling by his bed, saying his night prayers. I am sure that my mother was right across from him, quietly saying hers. From the earliest I can remember, I recall their doing that every night before going to bed. There have been three ongoing channels of communication in their married life: with God, with each other, and with seven children. It is a microcosm of all that is truly life. Our conversations during the day touch on so many, well, ordinary things. Relatives, the church, my getting a haircut, what's for dinner. Nothing all that profound. But I will say a prayer this night, for all things ordinary. I will give thanks for peanut butter sandwiches and hot July afternoons and the deep feelings in my heart, spoken and unspoken. I will thank God for the night prayers of my mother and father. I will pray for the wisdom to trust the Incarnate Word in such things as ordinary as this hot afternoon in late July, when Christmas is so far away on the calendar and yet as intimate as my breathing, as near as my mother straining to see, to understand. And, if I feel estranged this Advent season as I drive past