That word signifies a law of the universe — the tendency of all things to decompose, to fall apart, to decay. Eventually, of course, it means the end of the universe itself. We get a glimpse of it in the fall (this is not just physics, it’s biology as well) amid the splendor of the dying maple leaves. It poses a question.
That question was articulated by Leonard Mlodinow, the physicist and screenwriter: “…if the natural tendency of the universe is disorder, then where does the order of life come from?” Einstein loved simple answers to complicated questions, and this one comes from a seven-year-old — “Isn’t God the author of life?” He designed life’s questions to be understandable to the simple. Why not everybody?
Sometimes when we consider the complexities of life, we wonder, what can the uneducated make of it? That may be why Einstein looked for the simplest answer.
I think one of the greatest stories is that of the appearance of the Mother of Jesus to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. It has rising suspense, tension, a climax, and a denouement.
Those innocent children knew nothing of these parts of a story, and neither did their parents, mayor (the villain) and their priest (who was dumbfounded). The climax had 70,000 witnesses.
You have to admit, the Holy Spirit, who originated and staged this play, had things well in hand, with the exception of the children’s free will. Blessed be God.
This is one of my occasional letters to you celebrating a special occasion, this a trip to Long Island’s East End. We were received so happily and coordinately.
To begin with, we stopped at a farm stand off Exit 69 and I had in mind to get one of their home-baked pies. I chose a blueberry pie with crumb topping, without even opening the cover to look at it. When I brought it up to the counter the farm girl waiting on us said, “Twenty twenty-five.”
I mean, it was a heavy pie but for me it didn’t warrant that price, sight unseen. I fumbled in my wallet and could only come up with a twenty dollar bill. I laid it on the counter; she took it and said, “That’s it.”
When we got home, what a surprise. It turned out to be the most delicious blueberry pie we’d ever tasted. In my ignorance you (God) had rewarded me.
I shredded my bank receipts this morning and am grateful to the town employees who make all that possible. I am grateful to the Lord that I live in a civilization where that is possible, but I am sorry it is necessary.
Where would it no longer be necessary? I guess in heaven, where we would no longer have need of money and a place we’d like to more than visit.
I pray that I’ll meet you all there. Do wait for me.
Today I spoke with a woman who had suffered two mini-strokes, and was still able to drive a car. Her husband is incapacitated, so she’s the only one to do the shopping unless one of her children drops by.
What do oldsters do when their independence is threatened, and they have to go into a home somewhere? That home often does not come from the children anymore.
But God provides. Many an oldster has found refuge in one of the nearby rest homes for the aged and rehabilitatees so you might say our civilization has advanced, thanks be to God.
When you know a word and can’t remember it, that leaves you empty. Today I forgot transfiguration, one of the mysteries of the rosary.
Where do you think I found it? It was on Google, the most secular of websites. If the world isn’t God’s, then who would we say created it?
That’s how I solved my problem. It didn’t happen by chance, the cause some scientists believe in; it happened because I turned my attention to the computer. I, too, am a cause.