Entering the millennium on Christian time

On pilgrimage through history

Are we there yet?” my son Andy cries just as we are pulling out of the driveway. “Are we there yet?’ when we drive up to the McDonald’s take-away window. “Are we there yet?” when we stop at a traffic light. No, not yet. Unable to grasp any estimate I might give him (is an hour short? is a day long?), he fusses, then falls asleep, only to wake up surprised upon our arrival.

“Is it morning yet?” I hear Andy call out from his bedroom. I check the clock: 3:00 a.m. “No,” I say, “it’s still sleep time.” He takes my word for it and goes back to sleep.

“Is it morning yet?” I hear again. Now it is 6:45 on Saturday morning. “No,” I lie. “Well, yes, but it’s early morning, and you can sleep some more.” Andy goes back to sleep.

It’s 8:00 a.m. This extra bit of sleep, gratuitous as it is, makes me think of the refrigerium, or heavenly refreshment, that souls in purgatory are said to enjoy on occasion. I wake Andy up. “Is it morning?” he asks. “Yes!”


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