Sts. Peter and Paul Novena June 29-July 7
For today's feast, another sample from the Saga - the episode called The Psephy in the Dome.
Yes, you really can begin a novena today - Sts. Peter and Paul - for your special intentions.
[very late on June 28, Mark's room on the top floor of the Weaver home]
"Die to self," Mark murmured as he got ready for bed. Then he heard a knock and the voice of his sister Mary, and he pulled on his robe.
"You OK? You were so quiet for so long – I thought maybe you had fallen asleep with the light on."
"No... I was... uh... kinda lost in another world."
"Oh, I understand," she smiled, and he stared at her curiously. "I wanted to talk..."
He sat on his bed, his arms around his knees."Sure. Have a chair."
She sat, her eyes downcast. "Mark, I'm still struggling... you think I'd have worked all this out long ago. But it's getting hard."
"What do you mean? The idea of going into Carmel?"
"Yes – well – no. The idea of saying good-bye to so many good things. Mom and Dad. You and your brothers. This house. The store. The town. The bay." She chuckled, but with an odd tone in it. "Even that horrible siren on the roof." Then she shook her head, her eyes beginning to well with tears. "Thy will be done, O Lord... It's rough, being attacked like this, with just three weeks to go!"
Mark stared, wondering. Could she know? Was the College behind all this? But he did what he had to do, even though he began to hear his own words being applied to himself: "Mary! Didn't you tell us – isn't it in the gospels, about seeking God's will and gaining a hundred times more what you give up? Are you in love? Is Ted? Aren't Mike and Joan, and Matt and Catherine, in love?"
"Yes. I am in love, Mark. I want to do this. But this part of the world – this little town, our family and our home and our store – is lovely."
"Sure it is. That doesn't stop when you go into Carmel. You add to it, not lose it!"
"I know that," she sniffed, pulling out a handkerchief and blowing her nose.
"Look, Mary – I understand what you're going through. I'm trying to make a decision about something too – something about the rest of my life."
She looked up, her eyes wide. "What do you mean?"
"I don't want to say just now, all right? It's kinda hard to – well, kinda unconventional, perhaps. But orthodox."
"Really?" Her whole face had changed, as the sky changes as the storm departs. "I'd love to hear more."
"Not just now. But here's an idea. Let's do a novena – I'll do mine for you, you do yours for me."
"That we'll know what we're to do. That we'll be given a sign."
"A sign? It's a faithless and evil generation that seeks a sign," she quoted. [see Mt 12:39]
"We're only asking for it, Mary, not seeking one. God can grant it or not; it's up yo Him. But in such a critical matter we ought to ask, in order to be sure that we are not making a mistake."
"That's a good point, Mark. All right. We'll start tomorrow, it's saints Peter and Paul."
"Thanks, Mark. Good night."
"Good night – and thanks."
[nine days later...]
"You see this shirt?" He pointed to the one he was wearing, the blue one with the logo he had worn at Weaver's.
They nodded. He handed them something soft. "Now that you're twelve, you have to begin wearing it..."
"All the time?" asked Bernie.
"No. Just on the Nones of July."
"What's that mean?"
"It means the seventh of July. Today."
"Can't tell you that now. But I will, maybe soon...."
Dr. Grosjean stood and stared in amazement at the coat of arms on his shirt. "Sable, a mullet radiated argent within a double tressure flory-counter-fleury Or," he recited. "Motto, ouk eimi monos, from St. John 16:32: 'I am not alone'. I just can't believe it! The arms of the Order... and this is the Nones of July!"
[From The Three Relics, copyright © 2007-2009 by Dr. Thursday. Ask for it at any Quayment bookstore!]