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Friday, April 19, 2024


 Easter is long past, and yet I thought of it today as I was facing a challenge 

 It's an odd truth:
reality is a slippery thing.

We often expect one thing and get quite another.

We awaken to a dark moment, expecting death and get life instead.

That's one of the lessons of Easter:

Three grieving women once walked to a tomb, wondering how they were ever going to roll the stone away.

Only to discover that it had already been done.

Don't sigh.

You haven't stumbled upon a finite man pompously spouting delusions about the infinite.

I am but a man looking up at the campfires of the night we call stars and seeking truth in their endless depths.

John Paul II

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” 
― John Paul II

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

― Adolf Hitler, born on this day in 1889.


On the other end of the spectrum:
 Outlaw is too mild and small a word for the monster Hitler was -- 

Shortly after his thirty-fifth birthday, while imprisoned for his part in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler began to dictate Mein Kampf
(“My Struggle,” shortened by Hitler's publisher from his suggested title, “Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice.”)
The book romanticizes Hitler’s formative years, and reflects his attempt to remake himself as a Schopenhaurian hero of will and idea.

The passage below is from Chapter Two, Hitler now an orphaned teenager in Vienna:
"The Goddess of Fate clutched me in her hands and often threatened to smash me; but the will grew stronger as the obstacles increased, and finally the will triumphed.
I am thankful for that period of my life, because it hardened me and enabled me to be as tough as I now am." 

On this day in 1912 Bram Stoker died. The author of some twenty books, Stoker is known almost exclusively for Dracula, published in 1897.

The novel brought little fame or fortune in Stoker's lifetime —

 so little that he had to ask for charity at the end of his career. More surprisingly, Dracula raised few eyebrows, though modern critics find it a "veritable sexual lexicon of Victorian taboos."

On this day in 1822 Lord Byron's five-year-old daughter, Allegra, died in Italy.

She was the offspring of a brief relationship with Claire Claremont, stepsister to Mary Shelley.

The below quotation comes from an April 23rd letter to Shelley, in which Byron expresses his hope that time will heal his grief: 

"I suppose that Time will do his usual work. 
Death has done his."   
     In another letter, Byron expressed his desire that Allegra be buried at St. Mary's Church, Harrow — Byron had often wandered in the churchyard when a student at Harrow School:
with a commemorative tablet inscribed, "I shall go to her, but she shall not return to me" (2d Samuel, xii. 23).
Byron's reputation and Allegra's parentage caused church authorities to deny the tablet, though an unmarked grave was allowed.

To which I think of another Bible quote:
"Jesus wept."

When Byron died (almost to the day, four years later: April 19, 1826), he requested burial at St. Mary's, but this was denied.

In 1980, a memorial plaque for Allegra was finally put up in St. Mary's, inscribed with the sentence from Byron's letter to Shelley.

“And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself.

Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars,
just this:

that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?”

― Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat


  1. Fame, fortune, forgiveness - to everything there is a season, but sometimes that seasoning is Taco Tuesday.