The Christmas after my apartment was burgled, my brother seized the opportunity to replace some of the items that had been taken. He didn’t buy me a new camera, or a new rosary ring, but hit up his college bookstore for the one thing he knew I couldn’t live without: socks.
Driven by motivations beyond the scope of this post, the burglar(s) had stolen most on my socks, and when my brother presented a new set to me with a mischievous grin after my Christmas morning gigs, I was somewhat relieved. A few days later my Godmother gave me another really nice three-pack of socks, for the same reason. Since then, I have had enough socks.
I was putting on the Fordham socks my brother gave me just the other day, and I smiled because they made me think of him. That same morning I drank my morning coffee from a mug that I had purchased when in Italy with family, and that too had made me smile because of the memories it held. When I wear a hat from my godmother, write with a pen from my father, sleep under an afghan from my grandmother, I have what I need and I have the memory and companionship of those who have provided it for me.
To be sacramental, to find God in water, oil, bread and wine, is to also find God in a pen, a pair of socks, even the set of dental picks that my mother puts in my stocking every year even though I prefer regular floss. I have great appreciation for the purposelessly beautiful – a vase of flowers, my claddagh ring – but what really moves me is the beautifully purposeful. Items I use every day are full of memories, infused with a Love beyond their evident purpose.
By virtue of the Creation & still more of the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin