Our dessert is ready to pack, and I notice that little fingers already have picked off several of the glazed strawberries that decorated the top. This cake is something special, a glorified strawberry shortcake, a descendant of the French apricot rum cake. It is often used as the festive cake of France, and the Holy Spirit undoubtedly inspired the baker who first conceived it. Its frosting is as red as the tongues of fire that descended on the apostles, as red as the vestments at Mass on Pentecost. With it, your picnic will be a great success. The best part is that you can make it the Saturday before.
Our family piles out to the strawberry patch to gather the berries for the Strawberry Cake. Daddy insists that each picker carries two baskets, one a little chip basket and the other a very large “bread basket” located somewhere between neck and knees. For every berry in the chip basket, at least two or three land in this great “internal cavity where the chief part of digestion is carried on.” The miracle of it all is that the patch even produces enough to freeze or store for winter. The Lord must manage a multiplication of berries when boys and girls eat so many.
As the Church continues the Pentecostal theme through the week, we are again reminded of the close connection between spiritual and material in this human world of ours. While the Holy Ghost lavishes His seven-fold gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord upon Christ’s orphans—we, the newly adopted “little ones,”—are taught “to speak and understand” by our mother the Church. We who have received great spiritual riches turn to our farms and gardens and give our little gifts of the new season to God.