Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Here near the coast, it doesn't get so hot as other places in Southern California. Just about the time you wish for air conditioned comfort, the air is cool again. But the last two summers have been brutal. (Because my father threw his milk shake cup down the sewer every day in the summertime for countless years, at least until Mr. Zim died, causing global warming.) We've had to pack Sister Mary Fiacre and Teddy in ice.
Teddy is a big fatso and very hairy and really filthy. When we iced him down he made a brown puddle. He didn't complain, though. Sister Mary Fiacre is....not small. She is sleeping more. I suppose that's a good thing. Unless she's dreaming she's in Purgatory and the Virgin Mary is bringing her ice. (Mary is in charge of Purgatory. She actually sends the angels for the ice.)
Last night on the weather report 'they' said the weather would break today from the triple digit heat. I believe it did a little. Not that I can tell. I think I'm permanently hot, like an old oven with a broken temperature knob. Stuck on high, so to speak. Maybe I'll end up like today's saint of the day, St. Charbel. St. Charbel, dead since 1890-something, is still sweating. He was a monk who lived in the desert. I think he may have been permanently over-heated.
St. Charbel was the son of a mule driver. He took up the hermit life as a monk, and like his hooded brothers before him, tried to get away from people as much as he could, which is the whole point of being a hermit monk. As is often the case, however, people sought him out all the time. Hermit monks have to keep moving further away from people to stay hermits. We all have our crosses to bear.
Things really didn't get interesting for St. Charbel until after he died. His body started to secrete sweat and blood, for one thing. And he performed surgery on a partially paralyzed woman during her sleep. This isn't some ancient rumor, by the way. This was in 1993. The woman had a dream that a hooded monk, later identified in a saint line up as St. Charbel, made a small incision in two places and she woke up from her dream fully recovered from her paralysis. The best part: She had two small incision marks on her body like the ones in the dream.
I often wonder what heaven is like for saints like St. Charbel. I think about things like that when we get stuck in traffic because a Dodger game just ended or the Hollywood Bowl is having Tom Jones sing and 30,000 people, a drop in the bucket compared to the population of heaven, are all trying to get in front of each other to go home. It's amazing to see over 30,000 people at once. Next time you're stuck in traffic and want to swear at them all, please remember that you'll be next to them all in heaven, too. Still want to go?
Maybe that's the reason St. Charbel is still sweating.