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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Novella Six: Part Nine; ADCE

Six weeks into the Vermont exile, Joe and Casey decided to go on the ham radio for news. What they heard shocked them into rethinking the two month safe haven plan.

One man from Maine reported outbreaks of the plague in Chicago, NYC, and Los Angeles. He said it was planned. Millions of people had died in those cities.

Another amateur radio operator from Pennsylvania said that the darkness lasted four weeks exactly, subsided, but was covering parts of America again. A third noted that looting and stealing flowed across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to the point where anarchy "ruled" in many medium sized towns.

The group had a meeting after Mass and breakfast on the seventh Sunday in exile. Father James led the meeting.

"We all thought, except for Joe, that our exile here would be temporary. It seems by these random reports that the infrastructure and moral structures of America have unraveled. It is time to decide on two things. First of all, can we and should we stay here? Second, if we go back, what are our group and individual plans?"

Jamie spoke first. "I do not intend to go back. My ancestors were pioneers in Kansas and I want to learn to live as they did. I think I can do this. But, I know it will be very hard."

Tammy spoke up next. She was sitting with the children, who were now considered old enough to hear the truth of where their lives may go. "If the children can handle this situation, I, also will stay here with them. My entire life will be dedicated to their and needs. I promised them this."  Thomas looked relieved, and Mary came over and sat next to Tammy.

Father looked at Casey? "Well?"

Casey looked at the floor. "To be honest, I have nothing to go back job was with the newspapers, which by now, are either completely in the hands of the tyrants, or shut down. I honestly believe that my role as a journalist in this world is over. However, I want to do something else.  I do not know how to do this, Father, but I want to join a religious order, like be a monk."

Father James smiled. He had suspected that Casey had a religious vocation, but had said nothing. Both women looked at each other. They had known this for a long time. Casey lived with his rosary in his hand. Tammy was so proud of her younger brother.

Father turned to Joe. "Joe?"  Joe surveyed the group. He was very quiet. "My sister has decided to take the children under her wing. I guess that makes me the adopted uncle. I stay here."

Mary burst out. "Father, are you staying with us, please?" Father smiled. "Of course, this is my little parish, my little church."

From that day, the group decided to organize themselves into a religious group of some sort. Father wrote a little rule. There would be three levels-Casey would be the first "monk", the first one to set himself aside for God. Father James said that as soon as he possible, he would find a bishop to bless the little church. He smiled when he said this and turned away to get a cup of coffee. Joe noticed that Father James was happier than he had ever seen him.

Food was no problem, but plants were beginning to die under the darkness. Occasionally, the sun would shine and plants, including trees, would "perk up". But, the darkness came back, although less intense than in that first month. Tammy was experimenting growing edible things with lamps, but she had to learn how to make alternatives to the oil, which was fast disappearing. She worked with animal fat, but all understood that if the plants died, animals would die as well.

Adjusting to "pioneer life"in a strange twilight was easy for some and harder for others, but all pitched in to learn new, basic, ancient skills. Tammy proved to be a whiz at sewing, canning, cooking, making soap and basically doing most of the cleaning and organizing of the daily chore-schedule for the entire household. Jamie taught the children daily, and Casey worked and prayed in the true Benedictine rhythm of the day under the direction of Father James.

The day was no longer marked by day and night, light and dark, so Casey worked on the hours of the day as if the sun could be seen. All had to follow the same schedule. All did. The darkness lasted most of the winter, but as the plants were covered in deep Vermont snow, Tammy thought some plants would survive, if the sun shone again.

Time passed quickly. Then, before Christmas, is was clear to all that some new type of bond between Joe and Jamie. In the New Year, Father James performed an unexpected sacrament, as Jamie and Joe married. The little church would grow, and a remnant of the Faith would pass down the Truth to the next generations.

No one knew for sure how long the little church could sustain life, but Joe thought the darkness was temporary, and he proved to be correct. By the end of January, it finally disappeared and the normal day and night rhythm returned. It fell away like a curtain, and Jamie imagined even the pines and firs sighed with relief.

Father James organized, with Casey, a semi-monastic day. Thankfully, these urbanites seemed immune to cabin-fever.

Then, one day in early March, Father asked for a meeting of the entire group. He said Mass first, and then remained standing in front of the small assembly. He was playing with a ring on his left hand.

"I have a secret which I can now share. I had been consecrated a bishop before we left, but could not share this information until six months had passed. These six months were a necessary delay, just in case life returned to as it was before the chaos began. My archbishop asked me to wait for six months before sharing this knowledge. Now, I know that my work is here, and that we shall continue here.  My instructions were to carry on the apostolic succession in hiding, if the land remained under tyranny. It has. I do. I am free to train Casey as a priest, who will carry on work either here or elsewhere."

The group was stunned. They understood the importance of Father's announcement. Now, for the first time, they understood that they were, indeed, a remnant Church.

Joe asked Bishop James to bless everyone. They small church fell into a deep silence. They felt as though they were surrounded by angels. Even the children sensed the importance, the sublimity of the moment.

As the darkness had covered the earth, so it did not last. One day, in the early spring, at Mass, Bishop James read from the Missal he had brought with him. With an ancient authority in his voice, Bishop James read this from Romans 11:5; 33-36--"Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace.... O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him?
For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory for ever. Amen.

Have we moved too far from "normal"?

 I read a lie today in a Catholic Diocesan newspaper. The journalist stated that Catholic schools are where children first meet Christ.

This is not only a false ideal, but an idea contrary to the teachings of the Popes on the parents, the family as the PRIMARY educators of the children.

If a child has not "had religion" but the age of seven, the formation of the conscience, the soul, the mind and the imagination has been severely impeded.

I have shared Maria Montessori's ideas on the "normalized child", with which I agree, on this blog.  Only a child raised in grace and in a Catholic environment, a Catholic culture, has a chance of being normalized.

The reason I bring this up today is that too many Americans have deviated so far from what our ancestors in the Faith saw as normal, that I am beginning to see how small the remnant really is and will be.

Unless parents drastically break with modern cultural "norms" and reinstate Catholic thinking, Catholic practice, Catholic culture in the homes, the children who are young now will be lost.

Formation of children belongs to the parents, not the state. This is the long teaching of the Catholic Church. If you are handing over your children to either state schools, or schools which are compromising Catholic standards, you may be in serious sin.

Exterior discipline and exterior forms of the virtues come before the internalization of both.

Go back and read my series, which includes these few posts. Last summer, I wrote a long series on home schooling. Check it out.

03 Sep 2013
Moving to the fourth characteristic of the normalized child, one see that social qualities come naturally and the virtues are strengthened. A child learns confidence through her work, on her own, accomplishing all the things in ...
02 Sep 2013
Going back to the four abilities of the normalized child, one sees that the first is the love of learning. This is God-given and encouraged by the parents. In language formation, the child begins by imitating the parent and other ...
31 Aug 2013
The signs of the normalized child were outlined first by Dr. Montessori and some may be surprised by the list. Now, I must add a distinction here for the sake of clarity. Baptism changes us. It takes away Original Sin, but there is ...
29 Aug 2013
There is no reason why a normalized child cannot be quiet for up to a half-hour thinking about Jesus on the Cross, or the Birth of Christ. Just holding the Crucifix and asking the child How do you think Jesus felt? is a beginning ...
13 Feb 2013
We do not need to raise children like a pack of cubs. Quietness and order are signs of the normalized child. I suggest you and your wife reading Montessori on the normalized child, and on my blog. 13 February 2013 18:27.
27 Jun 2012
And it is likely that this crossing of the line from child to adult, unfree to free—not homosexuality as such—was what affronted the more austere of the Roman moralists. And so we hear from Tacitus (56-117 ... Both concubinage and prostitution were completely acceptable; pornography and sexually explicit entertainment and speech were entirely normalized; the provision of sex by both male and female slaves was considered a duty by masters. Paeans to the glory of ...

Sad--Text from ChurchMilitant on Gregory Baum

Novella Six: Part Eight. ADCE

Two weeks passed quickly. Jamie had organized the two children into some sort of schedule involving ad hoc home schooling. Tammy made progress in healing. She was no longer limping. Casey managed to kill two deer and a grouse, giving Father a chance to teach all how to hang, clean and prepare animals for eating.

Casey and Joe decided to create army like guard duties, which involved teaching Father how to use a pistol. He knew how to shoot rifles, and took to his new skill well.

Joe thought more and more about how long they would need to stay here. Derek's last message, "One Month" indicated that, perhaps, martial law was half way over.

Father had dug out of a corner an old short wave amateur radio. They decided to think about using this after the month was out. Joe knew some amateur enthusiasts who would be against the present regime and could be broadcasting in this area. But, he waited.

This September brought much colder weather than usual. The contrived, odd darkness lingered, but it seemed to be abating. At night, some stars, and the moon shown through the cover of blackness.

No one approached the area, but on the Monday of the third week, something happened which caused great sadness and consternation.

About two in the afternoon, Casey, while on his "guard duty" saw a tall, thin man walking around the path from the lake. The man looked ill, and wobbled a bit. Casey signaled Joe, wand ho was walking behind him. They watched the man. Suddenly, the man fell, and lay as if dead.

The two raced over and turned the man right-side up, as he had fallen on his face. "He is sick, not dead. Look, feverish." Casey noted.

Joe was kneeling next to the man. "And, here is why, look, an old wound, with the bullet caught under his arm. Let's get him back. You run ahead and have the women get a bed downstairs. I can carry him."

Joe lifted the unconscious man and flung him over one shoulder. Once at the lodge, Joe laid the man in one of the small beds Jamie and Casey had brought down to the long room. Jamie had told the children to stay upstairs, but Thomas was looking into the room from the winding stair. "Dad, " he cried and rushed up to the sick man. The man opened his eyes and smiled, "Thomas. Son." Just then, Mary ran up and threw herself on the sick man's chest. Tears came to his eyes, but he passed out again.

"I hope I can get out that bullet. Jamie, help me and have Tammy keep the kids upstairs."

Joe had seen men die of infections less invasive than this one. The man's entire arm was swollen. Joe got to work and did his best.

Father James blessed the man and anointed him. The man seemed to be sleeping.

"I'm going back on guard duty," said Casey and he left suddenly. He truly was afraid the man would die.

But, the children's father, Mr. Haweraus, did not die. By the evening, he was awake and talking with his children. Joe watched him carefully. He knew Bob, for that was his name, was not "out of the woods", yet.

Bob looked at Joe, "Can you do me a favor, please, Joe?" Joe said of course. "There is a paper in my left jacket pocket. I brought it here on purpose when I heard in the country that perhaps a boat of people had escaped from the city. No one knows you are here and no one knows who you are, but something told me to bring this."

Joe took the crumpled paper out of the worn jacket. It was a newspaper item from the City Herald Newspaper dated two weeks ago. The article headline gave Joe a shock. Local Soldier Court-martialled. Fiance Missing. "Just like it for the authorities to keep printing and scaring people into submission," Joe thought. "Blast, I have to tell Jamie." He read the first paragraph.

Corporal Derek Jackson had refused to use force to clean out the camp on the Canada side of the river, in a cooperate effort to stem terrorist camps, with the joint operation involving American and Canadian forces. Derek faced the tribunal on Monday and was found guilty. He is imprisoned at F.D. awaiting sentencing.

Joe would ask Father James to break this horrible news to Jamie. Joe could not even bring himself to read the details of the article. Derek had refused to follow orders to round up Arnold's campers.

Joe wondered who else refused to carry out such orders-how many soldiers would act against citizens? Joe knew most would obey.

After dinner that night, Jamie and Father James went outside and talked for a long time. Bob fell asleep for hours, eating a huge dinner for a man in his condition. He had seen the soldiers come. He had seen Corporal Derek put in a truck and taken away. Bob said because he and the kids were hiding they could not hear, even across the water, but they could guess what had happened.

When Jamie and Father James came back in, Jamie excused herself and went upstairs. Tammy said "Leave her alone. She likes to work out suffering herself. I know her."

The next morning, Casey and Joe decided to try the radio after the end of the fourth week. Bob said he knew quiet a few ham radio operators in the area. They were all against the present tyranny.

Still, Joe held a niggling doubt about using it. He wanted news of the outside world, but did not want to endanger the little group here. Bob had an idea.

"I know the territory. Let me go back out and get some news. The closest farm house is about 49 miles west and south. I know the people there. They are Quakers. I am related to them, although they think I am a heretic."

Casey objected strongly, "You have children You cannot take another shot. To be honest, you are not strong enough, Bob." Joe agreed. He said no one was to leave at this time anyway, and he left for his guard duty.

Father James thought it odd that he had never met the Quaker family so close, realtively, to his place.

He asked Bob some questions, "How long have they lived there, Bob?" Bob said he really didn't know. They were originally from Upper State New York, but had moved to Vermont because the community broke up, some going west.

Father James watched Bob. He did not exactly distrust the man, but why did he want to go out so soon, and just for news, which could wait?

Father decided he would watch Bob. The priest's instincts told him something was not right.

Two days passed and Jamie came downstairs to eat for the first time. It was obvious that she had cried her way out of grief and was accepting the worst. She knew Derek would most likely be shot.

No one talked about Derek, but Bob, at dinner, brought up his plan to go to the farm again. No one agreed with him. He seemed agitated.

Joe and Casey switched guard duty. Joe sat down and took a mug of coffee from the low table Casey had made out of wood scraps. Bob started talking about his idea again, Father James noticed that Bob was sweating and then, the thin man began to tremble.

Joe took over. "Get him on the bed. I need to look at the wound." When Joe took off Bob's shirt and opened the bandage, he sat down and wrapped Bob up again. "Jamie, get me some pain meds, please."

Father James began to pray over Bob, and when he bent over, Joe whispered, "Blood poisoning."

Tammy took the children upstairs. Father James followed. "Children, your dad is so sick, he may not make it." Thomas looked stern, but Mary cried. Tammy held her. The four sat together for a long time, and when Father James went back downstairs, he saw that Bob's face was covered with the blanket.

Joe just looked at the floor, "There was nothing I could do. No antibiotics."

Father put his hand on Joe's shoulder. "This is not your fault."

to be continued....

The Rudeness of The Whitehouse

Novella Six: Part Seven; ADCE

The "cabin" turned out to be an old lodge, looking very small from outside, but actually large inside. The front door opened up into a long room, like one in a Yeoman's House, with a large fireplace at the west end. A kitchen was tucked in behind the fireplace. On the opposite side of the room, at the east end, a winding staircase, narrow and wooden, scrolled up to the next floor, which was a huge open room, like a school dormitory. Six smallish wooden single beds without bedding lined one side of the wall, while windows on the opposite wall faced out to the grassy circle outside. On the far side was a separate bathroom, with Victorian fittings, and a separate toilet. One adult sized single bed stood separated by a screen on the east side of the room. Jamie thought it looked like an old hospital bed,

Two large armoires stood like giant guards on either side of the washrooms, and one could just make out linens in one. On top of the armoires, again, like a school dorm, several old leather suitcases were piled on top of each other. The entire room felt and looked like an old summer camp for boys, which it had been. Father James, one of six children, all boys, spent his summers here in this house built by his grandparents in the 1870s.

Dust lay everywhere. There was an old wood burning stove, which was set above the fireplace below. That stove had been considered an improvement after the First World War.

In the second armoire lay stacks of sports equipment, tennis rackets, a badminton set, a croquet set, ice skates of various sizes, (all boys), a very old baseball bat and an equally old cricket bat. Thomas went over and began rummaging through the things, but his sister lay on top of one of the bare mattresses and instantly fell asleep. Jamie whispered to Tammy, who was walking, but limping, "Let us get this room cleaned up so some of us can sleep here." So, the women got to work and Father James brought Thomas downstairs. As it was September in the north country, Joe and Casey had used some of the wood in a lean-to outside to start a fire. The chimney seemed clean enough and was drawing the smoke up nicely.

Casey began to organize the kitchen, when a loud howl stopped all work. Thomas clung to Father James. "Wolves. They come when the fires start for a few days and then go away. One year, when we were cooking steaks, Dad and Uncle Carl had to go out and scare them away with rifle shots. They smelled the meat."

Joe smiled. "Well, they would not like this meat," and he pulled some beef jerky out of his knapsack.

Casey found four oil lamps with oil and put two down on the floor in the "long room" as it christened, and brought two upstairs. Not only the little girl, but Tammy was sound asleep on the newly made beds.

"Just leave one up here," Jamie whispered. And, she followed Casey down the staircase.

Father James passed out food and drink, when Joe interrupted. "I found coffee and tea in the kitchen. When was the last time anyone vacationed here, Father?"

Father looked sheepishly. "After we decided on Vermont, I came back here and stocked some things. I wish I had time to do more, but there is coffee, tea, sugar and powedered milk to last months. And, cookies."  Thomas smiled, but a big yawn caused Jamie to suggest that he would go upstairs to bed. She led him back up, while Joe and Casey took out blankets and laid them on the long room floor.

"Father, you sleep upstairs on the one adult bed up there. We two shall take turns guarding this place. Please, Father, you look worn out."

Father knelt on the floor. "Do you know think we should stop and give thanks for our safe trip and deliverance?" All three men knelt and prayed. Then, Father blessed them. "I may come back down. As you can imagine, I am not used to sleeping in the same room with, well, family."

They laughed and said goodnight. Joe looked into the fire, which was dying down. "Casey, this is a strange place, like a house in a time warp. But, it has a good feel to it, despite the wolves."

Casey agreed, and said he would take the first watch. Joe, who had not slept since they all had left the city, rolled over in his sleeping bag with an extra blanket underneath him and immediately fell asleep.

In the dim light, Casey took out his rosary and began the first of the four mysteries he would say, partly in devotion, and partly to stay awake.

Casey heard a Northern Saw-Whet Owl in the distance, and another answer. This seemed a good sign to him. Then, over the trees, he heard the wind pick up in the firs and pines, making these stalwart trees sway and bow. A storm was coming. How odd, that even in this darkness, rain would come. Casey looked at his watch. It was three a.m. He drank some black coffee and started his first decade just as the storm broke. "Good," he thought. "Any footprints we may have made will be washed out."

He turned the gas down on the two lamps and they sputtered and went out. All was dark. But, through the large window facing the grassy circle in front of the house, Casey saw a remarkable site. It was the moon, white and full, piercing through the odd darkness.

"They will not keep us down forever, " he thought. He heard Father James on the stairs, bringing his sleeping bag and blankets downstairs. "Mind if I join you?" Casey nodded. "We can take turns on the decades, " said Father.

To be continued...

Saint of The Day; Blessed Thomas Percy

The Percy family proved to be an exciting and faithful one during the persecution of the Catholics under Henry VII and Elizabeth I. This martyr's father was executed at Tyburn for taking part in the Pilgrimage of Grace. Some consider him a martyr, but only his son wears the crown of glory on the Church calendar.

Under Catholic Queen Mary, Blessed Thomas Percy was given back his hereditary titles, plus some:
Earl of Northumberland and the Baronies of Percy, Poynings, Lucy, Bryan, and Fitzpane.

Here is a section from Wiki on him:

On Elizabeth's accession the earl, whose loyalty to the Catholic Church was known, was kept in the North while the anti-Catholic measures of Elizabeth's first Parliament were passed. Elizabeth continued to show him favour, and in 1563 gave him the Order of the Garter. He had then resigned the wardenship and was living in the South. But the systematic persecution of the Catholics rendered their position most difficult, and in the autumn of 1569 the Catholic gentry in the North, stirred up by rumours of the approaching excommunication of Elizabeth, were planning to liberate Mary, Queen of Scots, and obtain liberty of worship. Earl Thomas with the Earl of Westmorland wrote to the pope asking for advice, but before their letter reached Rome circumstances hurried them into action against their better judgment.
After the Rising of the North failed, Thomas fled to Scotland, where he was captured by the Earl of Morton, one of the leading Scottish nobles. After three years, he was sold to the English Government for two thousand pounds. He was conducted to York and beheaded in a public execution, refusing an offer to save his life by renouncing Catholicism.[1] His headless body was buried at the now demolished St Crux church in York. His wife survived him, as did four daughters who were his co-heirs. The earldom passed to his brother.

Sacred Heart, Petworth

He was beatified in 1895, and in some places his feast is tomorrow and in others November 14th. I pray to him today for myself, my son, my readers, Great Britain.

May I mention his daughter, Mary Percy, who became a nun at the Benedictines in Brussels. That order has many connections to foundations in England.

See here for more interesting bits:

01 Mar 2014
I have already written about St. Thomas More's granddaughter and great granddaughter on this blog. See links. I have read the biography of one, which is no longer in print, Dame Gertrude More by Dame Frideswide ...
01 Mar 2014
Nuns in Persecution Part Two. Posted by Supertradmum. I have been researching the number of women who left England in order to become nuns on the continent, owing to the persecution of the Catholic Church in Great ...
01 Mar 2014
St. Margaret Clitherow's sons and daughters carried on the holiness of their saintly mother. Two of her sons became priests and her daughter, Anne, became a nun with the Ursulines in Louvain.
01 Mar 2014
The first of two of the reasons why I am posting this series on recusant nuns rest in my conviction that unless there are relationships among Catholics, some type of Catholic community, the Faith will die in many areas.

01 Mar 2014
Thomas More's House ... and breaking rank with the highly politicized and nationalized Anglican identity. That such great families as the Mores, Garnets, Clitherows, Vauxs, Herberts and others fled to the continent and that the daughters and granddaughters became nuns forms a pattern of connected to the universal Church. The danger of too many American and English Catholics today is that they do not firstly identify as Catholics, but either as Americans or English.

Novella Six: Part Six; ADCE

A strange fog grew and covered the land around the canal. The small canal seemed like a black ribbon in the midst of grayness. Neither Joe nor Father could make out any distinct shapes on land. Thankfully, the lake was so near, one could hear the water lapping up on the sides of the crescent-shaped body of water.

The shape of the water had baffled scientists for years. The lake was exactly a hemisphere, so perfect in dimensions it seemed to be man-made, but it was natural. The fact that this canal just ended in this lake also seemed odd, as archaeologists had found no trace of human habitation around the lake which one would expect from the end of a barge canal. After the last bridge and lock, the canal just merged into the lake, which was bound on three sides by steep forested hills marked with granite. In fact, because of the tree line, there would have been no room for houses or shops or the type of hamlet one would expect on a canal.

When the trial run had been made, Joe was shocked at the odd outline and surroundings of the lake. And, that it was virtually impassible, with a public canal draining in, or rather out of it, made the scene even more strange. It was as if the canal had been dug just to come to this quiet, almost private place, full of beauty and mystery.

Father James, having grown up in this area, did not find the site disturbing, but took it for granted, as people do who are familiar with geographical phenomenon.

After the last lock, Father steered the boat to the far side of the lake. The fog around the east and west boundaries, (as the canal had turned north gently over several miles), hid the tall pines and firs. But, Father James knew, that tucked in-between the giant trees, was a small path, which led to his property. In fact, the land surrounding the path was his as well.

The canal boat moved across the still, dark water in silence, as the group had decided on oars, not the motor. No one could hear anything except water lapping on the small, thin beaches, mostly made of rock, only about two feet before the tree lines met the water.

Docking the boat was easy, as a small clearing had been made years ago, just the size of the barge. The women had filled the knapsacks, rolled up bedding, and emptied the cabin. Everything which could be taken was fit into the large sacks. Even the two children carried medium-sized knapsacks.

The group did not talk, as any sound would be magnified by the water, which was so still at this point, it resembled a black mirror. Father James hopped off the boat the led the women and children to a small side clearing about twenty feet into the woods. A very old wooden bench without a back provided a temporary seat.

Then, he took the torch and the three men punched holes in the canal boat, Casey jumping into the boat and moving it out into deeper water just before it sunk out of site. Casey being the best swimmer, made his way back to shore just as the chimney disappeared under the silky water. Then, the three men stood there for a moment, knowing that they had cut off all present from the past, from home, from the familiar. All except Father James, who felt absolutely at home, experienced a strange excitement. A new life would be made here.

Quickly, the three men joined the women and children and Father James took the lead through the dense woods. It seemed unbelievable, but the usual darkness of the woods looked a bit lighter than the inexplicable darkness of the sky. The fog covered the lake now, as the group filed through the trees and up into the foothills.  No one felt afraid, but all were alert, even the two children, who, thankfully, had rested and eaten well.

Father James then turned due east, finding another smaller path, barely perceptible even in ordinary daylight. Joe looked at his watch. They had been traveling for only twenty-six hours, but it seemed like the chaos of the city, martial law, the sounds of violence, were in another world.

After an hour, the path led to a small circular clearing, and there to one side, on the north side of the grassy circle, was an ancient cabin. Father James walked faster. He was at his old, childhood summer home.

to be continued...