This week, I have been thinking about the power of a pulse—how it assists the beating heart, moving a constant surge of blood throughout the body. The strong pulse helps to cleanse and oxygenate every portion of the body. A weak pulse, on the other hand, makes the body sluggish, like a stagnant pond, until edema sets in—water overwhelming oxygen—and one’s organs and tissue literally become swamped, suffocated, and no longer able to support life.
The strength of one’s pulse, in these pandemic days of frazzled triage, can sometimes dictate whether one will be treated or left to perish.
I’ve been thinking about pulses because every Triduum brings me to memory of a particular Tuesday before Holy Week spent in New York City, where I had been asked to speak to a small group. On my way back home, I’d hubbed through an impossibly crowded Penn Station and experienced something I have never been able to explain beyond the notion of a pulse. But a big one. Huge. As though it belonged to God himself.