The above picture encapsulates the view from my parish Church just before taking off to the back sides of the beyonds with Jesus. The clouds are hiding the snow-caps of some of the tallest mountains in Eastern North America.
My absolutely most favorite activity in the world, when I feel absolutely happy go lucky, utterly at peace with all the heavenly court, the angels and saints, and the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception Himself, is when I’m carrying the Most Blessed Sacrament to the hospitalized and home-bound. It’s a time of humble thanksgiving. Since my truck is more of a Pope Francis vehicle than I think Pope Francis would dare to get into, it is perhaps a bit more like dragging Jesus around the back ridges of this heart of Appalachia, but, hey, that makes it all the more heavenly, with the angels all that much more busy protecting the heavenly Passenger I have next to my heart. I’m finally feeling recovered enough after coming back from Rome to chase about the mountains on a trip that took seven 1/2 hours all told.
The above is one of the zillion spectacular views created by my Heavenly Passenger, the Word Incarnate, Christ Jesus. Wretched as I am, I think He’s enthusiastically happy to be driven about in His creation on the way to embrace His loved ones in hospital or who are home-bound. We can’t even begin to imagine His most tender solicitation for our welfare in all His goodness and kindness. He’s The Priest, and I’m happy to be in His service in what I hope is good friendship. Pray for vocations to the priesthood!
The mountains are deceptive. The above picture is taken at close to the tops of the ridges, but it seems we’re at the bottom of a valley. This is not far from where the hermitage was.
It’s now later in the day, after visiting a Rehab patient in Asheville near to Biltmore Estate. Many Communions at this stop, now in Transylvania County. The traffic between Asheville and here was pretty horrific. I had my phone out calling 911 pretty continuously about accidents pretty much everywhere. One was a pile-up of seven vehicles, all teenagers, smashed together like accordions, right in the middle of what is surely the most congested, and fast-paced stretch of road in North Carolina, Highway 26-74 between Asheville and Fletcher. It seems like everyone goes 90 miles an hour just a few feet apart, bumper to bumper. No one was hurt! 911 was so busy that it overflowed to a national call center from which the guy had to ask: “O.K. That’s the mile-post and highway, but what city are you near? And what state is Asheville in?” So, you get the idea. With Jesus with me, I called out all the more: “Angel of God, my guardian dear…”
Here’s a shot on a much, much different road, with 30 full miles of cell-phone dead zone, just about to go into Jackson County on the ultra-famous and ultra-remote 281, just before heading straight up to the top of the ridges, two full miles straight up, that is, on the curviest, hair-pinniest, switchbackiest mountain road you were ever tempted to lose your lunch on. I love it, of course. I’m happy to be back from Rome. Happy to be with Jesus.
Forays like this give a soul a moment to think about things. I’m still wanting to write a bit on why I wanted to become a Missionary of Mercy. Pray for vocations! Hail Mary…