September 5th, 2012Pearce on Pierceby Joseph Pearce
Over the last two days I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know the White Mountains of New Hampshire. On Monday I hiked to the summits of Mount Pierce and Mount Eisenhower in the company of the incoming Freshman class of Thomas More College, which I have just joined as writer in residence and Visiting Fellow. I can think of no more pleasurable way of getting to know one's future students!
The arrival of Pearce on the summit of Pierce was soon surpassed by the arrival of Pearce on the summit of Eisenhower, the view from which was simply stunning. Mountains cascaded panoramically in all directions and I'm sure that the furthest must have been more than a hundred miles away. These edifices edified, almost forcing the heart to leap in praise of the God of Creation.
Having staggered back down the mountain, the convoy of vans, carrying students and faculty, made its way to nearby Pine Mountain on which we would camp for the night. Holy Mass was celebrated at Chapel Rock, an outcrop on the summit overlooking a valley of trees and the mountains beyond. On the following morning, as Mass was again being celebrated, we looked down on a sea of clouds, which had covered the valley, making the mountains beyond seem like islands in a celestial sea. As my soul leapt for joy in the presence of such majesty, I thanked God for allowing me to be present at the miracle of the Mass in the midst of the miracle of Creation. As I uttered the Domine non sum dignus I felt less worthy than ever, and all the more grateful for the gift that I did not deserve.
As I write these lines, in the relatively prosaic surroundings of an office on the TMC campus, I remember with gratitude these crumbs of comfort from the Bread of Life.