Sunday, May 26, 2013

Love's Ensemble for Trinity Sunday

“God is love”.  So St. John tells us.  On Trinity Sunday, the Church celebrates the great mystery that has been pondered, debated, proclaimed, and adored for two millennia.  God is a relationship of love and we, all undeserving, have been drawn into the very embrace of this relationship.  After so much has been said and written, what more is there to say?  Or will there ever be an end to what could be said?  St. Thomas Aquinas, that great medieval scholar, after producing perhaps the greatest works of speculative theology, came at the end of his life to the complete silence of adoration before the God he had tried so hard to explain.  Not that explaining is bad; it is just that experience is better.  St. Thomas did say that even though we can never fully understand God, we can fully love Him.  Even in human love, all words fall short before the reality of one’s beloved.  What can we say then, of the Divine Beloved and of His love for us?  Perhaps music comes closer to expressing the inexpressible.  One of our Sisters uses the imagery of music to attempt to describe her experience of God:

Love’s Ensemble

My heart is a harp for Love to play.
It fingers all foolish thought away,
For melody has more to say.

Love blows a tone, oh, so low,
Through open mouth of oboe soul,
Sounding the depths Leviathan roams.

But let my trembling chords be still,
And vibrant, hollowed spaces fill,
Then strike! My bell of being thrill.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Our Vegetable Garden

Here are some views of our vegetable garden.  We ate our first thinnings of beets and swiss chard this week!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fresh Wine Skins

In today's first reading for Holy Pentecost, we heard of how the people were amazed that the apostles were speaking in different languages. The next verse, not included in the reading, tells us that some mocked saying that the apostles were filled with new wine. One of our Sisters reflects on this in her Pentecost poem:

Fresh Wine Skins

…the disciples had now become fresh wine skins…The new wine of the Holy Spirit filled them, so that their fervor brimmed over…(6th Cent. African Author)

The upper room where Christ had raised the drink
Of praise and shared what was no longer same
Red press of grape, but His own bloodstream, link
Enduring—that was where the Promise came.

No gentle breeze announced the waited Guest,
But storm wind sounding, whirling fire overhead;
From springs within a swirling surge to crest
Of speech—God’s word, His wonders tongued and spread

By accents rising, falling in plainsong
To pilgrims gathered there; apostles wined
With fruit of Christ’s blessed Passion: Spirit strong;
Inebriate indeed, transformed, and signed.

Fresh Wine skins, taut and spilling over, share
The potion of love’s power to endure.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Like men of Galilee we strain from earth
And follow where our Brother Jesus goes
To glory, power left at human birth,
Reserved till from the deep descent he rose.

He bears our manhood glorified above
The joy in heaven for this only Son
Returning to His Father, filled with love
Enduring, filled with all the hopes of men.

His wounds, O God our Father, plead that we
Who trust His love be with Him evermore.
Our tears of gladness flow with Yours as He
Prepares our place, His kindred at the door.

Forgive Your children scanning still the skies
For cloud to bring His face before our eyes.

Blessed Feast of the Ascension and Novena to the Holy Spirit as we prepare for Pentecost!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Wind Rider

Our Sarah has exchanged her white aspirant veil for the black veil and brown vest of a full fledged Poor Clare postulant.  Here she is smiling beside the statue of Our Lady of Fatima that is just outside our monastic choir.

Before Sarah could join our community, she needed to pay off her college debt.  During the time of her fund raising efforts with the Laboure Society she experienced some moments of frustration and discouragement. A friend shared with her that he had been meditating on John 6:18ff, in which the disciples are sailing to Capernaum when a great wind comes up.  The water begins to get rough, but then Jesus comes to them on the sea and tells them not to be afraid.  He comes into the boat, and suddenly the apostles find that they have arrived at Capernaum much sooner than they anticipated.  Her friend said that he was struck by the fact that it was the wind and the turbulence that brought the apostles’ ship to its destination much sooner than it would have otherwise arrived.  He told her that God is Lord of the wind, and of the trials that churn up the waves of life beneath us.  God works all things for our good, and through them draws us swiftly to Himself.  It was this thought that inspired Sarah to write the following poem:

The Wind Rider
“And immediately the boat was at the land
          to which they were going.”  (Jn 6:16-21)

Gusty, churning horses, tossing

Salty manes, run in and out

Then leaping out to sea, and bearing

A wind-rider on their frothy backs.

Wind-rider youth, do you think, do you dare,

To seize the churning manes?

Wrench a stallion’s reins?

Bucking, screaming, furious herd of fire

Bearing ever onward towards desire

Flashing hooves and mighty blow

Smash wind-rider youth

Crash the pallid youth

The child bleeds.

Is there no breeze?

Mount again, wind-rider.

Water, flesh and fire

Answer to one Father

Source of all desire.

Horses gallop fastest

In the final stretch

You can make it, rider,

You can ride them yet. 

You can bear the screaming

Clasp the neck of foam

Suck the wind, wind-rider,



Brace yourself

On grace

As your stallions gallop home.

Sarah, our wind-rider youth is making it. 
You can too.