Today, I visited a deserted chapel on my morning walk with my husband. I had tried to visit the chapel a couple of times during ‘social distancing’, but someone else was always there before me. This morning, finally, the chapel was empty. I went to visit the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. But was He really there?

I looked for the red sanctuary candle. Yes, it was lit. He was there. I was reminded of the ending of the great English novel, Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh: “…There I found it this morning, burning anew among the old stones.”

El Carmelo Retreat House

The interior renovations promise to be lovely when completed in the near future.

Last week I had the good fortune of attending some meetings at El Carmelo Retreat House in Redlands, California. It had been years since I had been there, and I was looking forward to the scent of orange blossoms from the groves that surround the buildings. I was a little disappointed as Lyft drove us up the winding road through acres of orange trees ladened with last year’s crop, but no blossoms. However, the freshly-squeezed orange juice for breakfast the next day was more than enough compensation.

The following afternoon, I took a walk along the Way of the Cross. To my delight, I found four trees anticipating spring. They were covered with orange blossoms while still ladened with last year’s crop. The scent was intoxicating!