. . . cardinals in the castle, lizards in lawn furniture.  I don’t know why the little animals are being so poetic these days, perhaps the gorgeous weather.  It’s hard to explain just how glorious these past few days have been.  Bright blue skies, leaves turning, the sun is still warm but the light is lower and softer; everywhere I turn there’s a view that begs to be photographed.   I walk around soaking it all in and sighing at how beautiful it is.

Suburban South Carolina is part of the middle-class of landscapes.  No abject misery here, but no purple mountain majesties either.  I like to travel, and I can vouch for the fact that many other places are much, much nicer.  But I’m confident you could do a lot worse. 

I’ve been contemplating St. Paul’s words to us earlier this week, "I know how to be rich, and I know how to be poor."  I think that here in the comfortable middle class — of both landscapes and incomes — the risk is that we don’t know how to be either.  My parish is in the process of both raising money for a new building, and at the same time pleading with parishioners to donate more in the weekly offering because we aren’t meeting our regular expenses.   It is a mirror of the way we tend to live in the wider world.

Lately there has been a push around our  house to live more accurately.   That is to say, to live in according to a clear understanding of both our riches and the limits of our resources.  This isn’t exactly holiness — the Gospels aren’t about striving to be good suburbanites — but it is sanity.  Which is a good starting point.