Low Sunday

Quasi modo geniti infantes, begins the Introit this morning (“as newborn babes”), to which is added, alleluia (unnecessary to translate). “As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. …”

You can’t have enough Glorias in Eastertide for me; and neither could the Saints, through whom the Old Mass came into being (from God, and not from some liturgical committee), get enough of them (alleluia).

Through the season we have Glorias echoing from the Sunday Mass through the ferial days of the week, alleluia.

And time it is, too, for the “rational milk” — for our faith to develop and grow; for it to get itself educated. For the Crucifixion is our end, but the Resurrection is our beginning.

Carissimi: Omne, quod natum est ex Deo, vincit mundum, as begins the Epistle from I John. “Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world.” Et haec est victoria, “and this is the victory,” quae vincit mundum, “which overcomes the world.” … And what is that victory? … Fides nostra, “our faith.”

To which I would add, alleluia.

There is some strange old man who stands at the northwest corner of Dundas and Yonge, all the day long, getting complaints from the shoppers. For he is not selling anything, he’s just in their way. I think this man is blind, or very dimly sighted. He also looks a bit tubercular. Winter or summer, he dresses much the same. At intervals he shouts one word:


… at quite startling volume.

Those who know Toronto will realize he is standing in the heart of our Gomorrah. (Sodom is a few streets to the north and east.) Lately, “Dundas Square” has been tricked out with huge, high-tech flashing billboards, and floodlighting from all sides, to make it a cheap imitation of Times Square. But the gunplay continues.

We have heard of the man of one book, but here is the man of one word. And for the environment, I think it is well chosen.

“Believe!” … For this is the victory that overcomes the world: our faith.

I doubt this gentleman is a Catholic, incidentally. But he could be, for all I know. The one time I tried to speak to him, he seemed to be deaf. The way he pronounces, “Believe!” suggests a deeply ethnic origin, perhaps Baltic; but deafness would also account for it. And it is as if he had been struck by a fist between the two syllables.

But there is no problem making out the word: “Be-LIEVE!”

To which, on this first decent spring-like day in the Greater Parkdale Area — this Low, or Quasimodo, or if you want, “Hunchback Sunday” — I should like to add, in my rather snooty Catholic way: