Today, as I listen to Merle Haggard’s “Today I started loving you again,” I tell Lita, who just prepared me the most wonderful sandwich a wife could ever make for the husband she has loved for the last 50 years,  “Lita, let’s dance.”

And, she, while protesting, “I don’t know that song,” obliged her crazy blogger of a husband.

“I should have known the worst was yet to come.. today I started loving you again…and I’m right back where I’ve really always been…what a fool I was to think I could get by.. with only these few million tears I cried…I should have known the worst was yet to come… and the crying time for me has just begun”

Listen to Haggard: But be sure you come back to this Blog after your YouTube visit.

Today’s morning  was a momentous moment when my readings of dela Costa, the late, gentle Jesuit genius,  and the loving magical cookery of my wife Lita, and the magical voice of Merle Haggard inspired me to think of my love for my wife and hers for me,  and of the love that a Father dela Costa, or a Thomas Merton, both priests of Christ and poets and servants of the Lord, (both of whom I read and study,) had for Christ, who had called them to Himself, and Christ’s personal Iove for them.

Altho Haggard’s song is perfectly secular, we may still draw from it parallels about our relationship to the One we should be loving all the time: God himself. For we, usually, in our own lives love God, then we fall away, then we love again. How human, but God is always there waiting for us to come back to Him.

Dela Costa puts it thus:

“The main thing to remember about vocations is that it is an invitation from Christ himself, not a command. It is an invitation, or if you will, a falling in love…when the rich young man of the Gospel turned and walked away from Him, Christ was sorry but he was’nt angry…He was sorry that one to whom He had given His divine Heart could not find it in his own heart to love Him in return.”

…they ( the priests) have chosen wisely; they have chosen Christ. They will not find it easy, no; for who travels with Christ travels a steep road; the morning of it is full of the business of the world’s salvation, a heavy burden always and often a weary one; and perhaps in the middle distance, in the glaring heat of noon, there shall be a cross to carry and sharp nails for hands and feet; but somehow, even when the pain is fiercest, there shall be joy always, for that is the miracle of falling in love with Christ; and in the end, when the shadows lengthen, and the  stars come out, He will be there as always, pointing across the very little way there shall be left to go, at the lights of home.”

Here the late Horacio dela Costa is writing about his vocation as a priest, with the great hope that in the end God the Father and Jesus, will be there waiting at the “lighted home,” (heaven)

But heaven, altho found up there in eternal dwellings, which  is God’s plan, has also a “mirror” here on earth, and that is the family hearth, where the “lights of home,” will always be there for us, waiting.

On page 97 of my book “A Camiguin Island in Mindanao and the Houses of my Life,” ( I wrote this about how I felt about coming home to my house, where my wife, Lita, like all the millions of wives the world over had done since time immemorial, waited for me with the “lights of home.”

Here is what I wrote: “As I listened to Nora Jones sing “ I would cross the endless sea, I would die in ecstasy  my heart drenched in wine, you’ll be on my mind forever,” my mind wanders back to my house in Cagayan de Oro again.

I too, wish that I could “fly away” to a city that I watched grow, to an island which I explored and on which nursed a wounded and restless heart and spirit, in.

To a house old, and leaking, but much more valuable now because of inflation: yet full of memories, joys and tears shed quietly.

To a house where my wife and I brought “shelter” to the hearts of our children.

And even to (BCBP) friends, serving as a sanctuary to some of them, ( I will not mention their names for they know who they are), with domestic problems or running away from spouse.

A house whose door saw me come home often from my trips both far and wide.

And where my wife always waited for me, her heart always in her hand,  and with that unfolding smile that is mine and will always be part of me.

What value would life be to me, without her smile, that almost perfect outpouring of her soul? “

So, truly, in a small way, this (our) house is what heaven is or could be to me and to us.

And you, I am sure, have yours.IMG_0784.jpg