Starving with a Full Pantry


Starving with a Full Pantry
One of my favorite authors, G. K. Chesterton, in his preface to Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, summed up my belief about wonders when he wrote, “The world will never starve for wonders, but only for want of wonder.” Paradoxically, this insightful sentence was used as an inscription in 1944 on the General Motors Building at the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition.

I say paradoxically, since it seems industrial progress not only has in the past but continues today to drain us of our sense of wonder.

Enkindle my childhood wilting wonder,
exhausted by endless electronic gadgets
that deplete my wonder at a singing bird,
a cricket’s charm, or a single star at night.

From A Book of Wonders by Ed Hays


Prematurely Freeze-dried
Clarence Birdseye, while working with the U.W. Government Fish and Wildlife Department in 1912, observed the natives of Labrador catching fish in fifty-below-zero weather. It was so cold that it froze the fish as soon as they were taken out of the water. Birdseye observed how months later the natives thawed and ate the fish. As you may have already guessed, these observations led to the first Birdseye frozen foods. Today, we not only have frozen foods, we can also have a freeze-dried funeral. In ecologically advanced Sweden, instead of using enormous amounts of energy to cremate the dead, the bodies of the deceased are dipped in liquid nitrogen, causing them to become brittle and then turn to dust. There is yet another type of freezing that these considerations prompt us to remember: spiritual freezing. The fourteenth-century Persian mystic Rumi said, “Spend not your time with cold faces in dead places or else your breath will freeze your breast and heart.” Good advice if you don’t want to have your heart prematurely freeze-dried!

Christmas-NCR-gifts-half_0.jpgGive a subscription to our award-winning newspaper and save $10.

When I discover I’m in a lifeless place—
a party or in a church—show to me the exit!
Encountering those with icy cold faces,
alert me lest I suffer heart-soul frostbite.

From A Book of Wonders by Ed Hays


Prayer action suggestion:
Let your kindness warm your heart and also offer others the chance to thaw frozen hearts.


SIGN UP NOW to receive an e-email alert each week directing you to Fr. Hays' prayer reflections.

Want to know more about Fr. Ed Hays?

--Read a profile on Fr. Hays

Visit Ave Maria Press for a full selection of books by Fr. Hays.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017