Pentecost, current events and more Jehanne

Today, Pentecost Monday, the news in France is all about the loss of the Rio-Paris flight in mid-Atlantic. What happened? A newer aircraft, an experienced captain, and yet hundreds of dead, including several little children and one baby. Let us hope that nothing more sinister than a horrible mishap was at work. I cannot keep my mind off the anguish of those coming to the airport to welcome their loved ones, and finding only shock and grief.

Minutes earlier I had read of the death, at the age of 97, of Milvina Dean, last survivor of the Titanic. Then a nine-week old baby, she had been rescued by being lowered into a lifeboat in a mail sack. Her mother and brother had also survived, while her father drowned in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
It is not easy to accept the apparent randomness of life and death, of joy and sorrow. I am reminded of the final words of the Ave Maria: ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. “Pray for us, poor sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” Words that have struck me as far as I can remember. Rightly so, for the hour of our death may be now, even though we may not know it.
Back to Jehanne. I want to thank those who commented for their support and insights, and bring to your attention a blog entirely devoted to the Maid, her life and times: The Mysteries of Jehanne d’Arc.

And speaking of blogs, Elena Maria Vidal is starting a new one, in addition to her highly respected, and often quoted here, Tea at Trianon: Fountain of Elias, dedicated to Carmelite spirituality. Best wishes, Elena!

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