Sunday, October 25, 2015

Good news





Yellow is our Sister Mary Agnes’ favorite color.  Since she has been the object of our loving concern and care these past two weeks, whenever I see anything yellow outside in the garden, I think of her.  This yellow dahlia I picked after photographing, and brought it to her infirmary room where she was taking a little rest after dinner.  I was rewarded with a cheery thanks and smile.  Sister Mary Agnes returned from her eight day hospital stay on Wednesday and we have been keeping careful watch over her by day and night, as she is not completely over the bacterial infection afflicting her.  The night I stayed with her she awakened me with the cry that she could not find her call bell.  I assured her that she was at home now and not at the hospital.  Other than that moment of confusion, she was very sharp.  Always a detail person, she was very clear about her personal arrangements.  The facecloth was to be hung on the towel rack, but the big towel was too big to dry well there, so needed to be put on the cart handle.  Her night habit goes on the GREEN hanger so that she can distinguish it from the day habits.  Her hearing aids should NOT touch each other in the charger.  Pretty good, if you ask me!  It is a joy to take care of her.  Showing love to the infirm is such a simple, straightforward affair.

The day after posting pictures of our beans and sweet potato rows, an early frost blackened the vines of both.  Since the sweet potato slips had been planted late, I feared we would have few potatoes, but low and behold!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October at Barhamsville

Last week we had a bit of drama as one of our elders fainted during Holy Mass.  We called 911 and now she is at the hospital recovering from dehydration due to an intestinal bacteria.  How fragile we all are!  Truly, we know not the day nor the hour of our Lord's visitation, whether at the end of life or in sickness or some other trial.  It is part of our family spirit that whenever one of us needs hospitalization, we try to have a Sister with her to give her that tender loving care which is best given by a family member.  The nurses are great, of course, but they many patients that they must attend.  I am here now, taking my turn with our ailing Sister, and also taking advantage of the hospital's unlimited internet access, so can share with you a number of recent pictures:


View of our large courtyard, looking toward the choir
Autumn days bring bright skies free of humidity

Sunrise over the monastery
View taken from our vegetable field
Before the recent hurricane drenched us
we were still watering and early morning is the best time

Sweet Potatoes in the foreground and
2nd planting of Green Beans in the back
You can see the blooms of the Sweet Potatoes
that are related to morning glories
The Green Beans are producing abundantly!

On my way back, I spotted white veiled novice Sister Veronica.
She became a "2nd year novice" on Oct. 7th,
anniversary of her investiture last year.




Sunday, October 11, 2015


How many Sisters does it take to assemble a cupboard?  Three at least it seems!  As we offer our prayers for the Synod on the Family taking place in Rome, we here at Bethlehem Monastery in Barhamsville, Virginia carry on with our own family life.  Our 86 year old eldest Sister needs another cupboard for organizing her personal things in her infirmary room, so our three youngest oblige.  Not only our prayers, but our lives of joyful fraternal love go out to the world and to the Church in their need of God's blessings and grace.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Celebrating the Solemnity of St. Francis


Today is the Solemnity of our Father and Founder St. Francis of Assisi!  We his daughters want to greet everyone in the manner he did, "May the Lord give you His peace".  Inspired by an antiphon we sing on this day from the Book of Sirach, one of our Sisters wrote a poem comparing St. Francis with a rainbow.  Here it is:

Francis Rainbow      
“…Like the rainbow appearing in the cloudy sky”(Sir. 50:7)
Rainbow-like in a cloudy sky,
Bent by the hand of God most high,
Sunlight kisses your falling rain,
Brightens bliss from misty pain.

The green of life He bids you throw
Into His yellow-orange glow
Until your blood-red droplets flow,

While gazing blue, you disappear,
Dissolved in lowly violet tears.

Made blind by Beauty, in God you see
The zenith of Humility.