I try to imagine sometimes, what it was like to be a boy.. born in 1919! It was a different era. The country still largely agricultural. A young boy during the 'roaring twenties'! Your teen years spent in the depths of the "Great Depression". A young man during World War 2. Witness to the birth of the space age, and later to the curious spectacle of the digital era. From horses and lamp lit barns, to a mix of automobiles steam locomotives and horse and buggies. Radio still evolving...television still on the near horizon. No video games, or cartoons as a young boy. Your fun was at the ballfield, with your cap and baseball mitt, self-made cartoons in your imagination, of "The Mighty Casey" coming to bat! (written in 1888). Ice houses still used to aid in refrigeration. Milk drawn straight from the udder to be left warm on your kitchen table , cream separating from the milk. Cultural shifts that broadened the path for the damned...leaving your heart feeling increasingly isolated, as the crowds begin mock and jeer the greatest love of your life.
My father blessed himself as the day began .."In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen" , And then, he lived his life just in that way. In the name of God. No other prayers were needed...it was a life of deeds rather than words. Here is a memory from his childhood. For me, and for all of us who remember this uniquely wonderful, powerfully gentle soul...it is our Church, this Sunday mornin' .....:)
I remember when I was only four.
and my mother would take me to the store
But first in front of the Church we'd stand
"And come in..." , she'd say reaching for my hand
"Just for a minute...."
Then, when I started to go to school.
(She'd take me down each day, as a rule)
But first..the steps of the Church we'd climb.
"And come in!.." she'd say, "...we've always got time"
"Just for a minute!...."
When I got real big, I mean seven years old.
I went by myself, but was always told.
"When you get to the Church, Don't forget to call
And tell our Dear Lord about lessons and all.
...just for a minute."
And now it's sort of a habit I've got.
In the evening coming from Casey's lot.
When I get to the Church with my ball and mitt
To drop inside and visit a bit
just for a minute
But sometimes I see the other fellows
Standing by...and I just turn yellow.
I pass by the door, but a voice from within.
Seems to gently say "So you wouldn't come in?
just for a minute?"
Our Lord is lonesome when nobody calls.
(There are hours and hours when nobody calls)
And He is pleased when anyone passing by.
Drops in , even tho he's a little guy
just for a minute
There are things inside of me Bad and Good.
That nobody knows, and nobody should.
Excepting our Lord, and I want Him to know.
And He helps, when in for a visit I go.
Just for a minute
Now I know what happens when people die.
But I won't be afraid, and I'll tell you why.
When our Lord is judging my soul, I feel.
He'll remember the times I came to kneel.
just for a minute....
( Peter Andrew Rock)