This morning we drove out to the Oratory where the community will reside when the renovations on the Priory are completed, and it was my great pleasure to end my retreat with four solid hours of prayer. Of course, there was the rosary en route (in private as I drove solo), then once there, chanted Divine Office, Morning Prayer, Adoration, Little Office of Mary, Daytime Prayer, Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, Novena to St. Joseph, and Stations of the Cross (the version by St. Alphonsus Liguouri). Whew! Talk about marathon prayers!
On the way home, at Sister's suggestion, instead of driving straight to the freeway, I took a brief but parallel detour along peaceful farmland so that I could stop and pick up some fresh cheese curds.
My friends, one of the great pleasures of living in the upper Midwest, and most specifically, of passing through Wisconsin, is being able to pick up fresh, still-squeaky cheese curds fresh off the family farm.
As I left, squeaking on curds, enjoying the rolling hills of Wisconsin farmland, I realized how grateful I am both to be Catholic and to live in the upper midwest. This is GOD'S COUNTRY, my friends, and I don't think I'd ever want to live anywhere else.
I've even come to appreciate the oft-parodied accents of our region, and associate the most prominent with the friendliest, most-down-to-earth people one would ever care to meet.
At the same time, as I inhaled the fresh farm scents, I also realized how distasteful it is to have to actually reside within the rotting urban putrescence we refer to as a "suburb", kept apart from the incredible beauty of the tilled land that makes up most of the Midwest.
An old song from the Indigo Girls came to mind as I drove along, musing, so I couldn't help but create my own parody of it. Just so you get the melody, first check it out here then come back and sing with my edited version.