Summer Life Lines

Brad Miner | July 17, 2023

With so much chaos in the world – war in the East, division in the West, millions streaming North and South – and the Church, at levels both high and low, experiencing “confusion worse confounded” (“Paradise Lost”), it feels shameful to retreat from battle, even a little, to take in summer.

But we should, because, in truth Jesus has already arranged it that “the strife is o’er,” (ultimately). And grace and redemption fill Creation, which despite our worst efforts, “remains unspent/ There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” (Hopkins) St. John Henry Newman notes that, especially during barren winter, we have to remember the goodness and beauty that will blossom again beyond all reasonable expectation.

So even as I keep one eye on our troubles, I also try in this season to look less at what’s transient and more at permanent things – and a wider world.

Literally. Especially on summer nights during the Perseid Meteor Shower, which begins tonight and peaks in coming weeks until August 24. No need for special equipment: go outdoors, find the constellation Perseus, and be patient. It will entrance you. (These are also the “dog days,” so you can see Sirius, the “dog star,” the brightest in the sky.)

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