It is 1630 hours (4:30 PM) She may have gotten out of bed for the rest of the day, but maybe not. She is running the water in the shower. That means she will be awake and ambulatory for the rest of our time together, before she goes to work.

I’m stuck. I could leave, for 2 hours, for the rest of my life, but I’m stuck. The slow agony of disconnection lingers like the slow agony of my arthritic hip. We were going to Cracker Barrel to eat corned beef and cabbage on this St Patrick’s Day, but they chose not to have the special. Oh well.

St Patrick’s Day. We honour this missionary priest with everything but evangelizing, in a Church that treats salvation as if it were a vestigial organ, like the appendix, present but not necessary. And the emptiness resounds from the ambo like the clap of wood at Holy Thursday Mass.

If there was any hope in the Fabian Socialist world view, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells would be revered as the secular saints of the brutal universe of abortions and euthanasia. But we all know the lies, the lies many of us choose to believe anyway.

As so many do, I choose to stay. And hope a new forest grows above the charred trunks and ashes of the old, in my heart, in my home and in The Church.