…The sun sets again and I’m in awe of how enormous God’s love must be, and I wonder with thanks at the ways Jesus works to set us free.
first draining the creek
then sweeping back in to cover;
all but the grassy crown of the small island.
Day in, day out
a stability that calms me.
Dear Lord I am aware that I am at low tide,
I return to you each morning hoping your love,
your forgiveness will sweep in with their warm waters
to fill again
my hollow spaces.
I spread myself out in the shallows of your great sea.
Let me be your little island;
one island in a chain of a million islands;
like a pearly archipelago.
I long to trust you whether the water be low
by Sr Nunother
Oh dear. I strive for perfect in all the wrong ways. There are days when everything I do is off kilter. I lose my glasses, misplace important papers, and walk into walls. I bite into a sandwich and mustard catapults onto my sleeve. I wipe it off with a paper towel, then Google “mustard stain” and learn to never rub mustard into fabric, always lift excess with a knife. I try harder. Lint on the black yoke of my habit becomes super important and I keep a package of sealing tape nearby for instant removal. My idea of perfect has to do with ego, pride, and self-improvement. God’s perfect has to do with forming a heart of love, forgiveness, and mercy. The Hebrew word for perfect, tamiym, translates as whole, sincere, complete, and filled with integrity. Now those are things worth striving for.
by Sr Fidelis
We’ve begun our Lenten journey. Lent has always been a time of inner reflection and repentance, usually associated with fasting in preparation for Easter. The word Lent comes to us from the Teutonic language, and it means Spring. The Old English word for lengthening days was lencten, and the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of March was Lenct. This juxtaposition of repentance alongside the hope of Spring is so beautifully expressed in the Lauds Hymn, based on the 10th century text, Iam Christe, sol iustitiae.
Now, O Christ, sun of justice, let the shadows of the mind divide, that the light of virtues may return when you restore daylight to the world.
Granting an acceptable time, also give a penitent heart that kindness may convert those whom longsuffering has borne:
And give some kind of penance to carry out, through which our sins, however grave, may be removed by your greater offering.
The day is coming, your day, through which all things flower again; may we rejoice in it, led back by it to your grace.
You, let the entirety of all things worship, O merciful Trinity, and, made new by forgiveness, let us sing the new song. Amen
A new year is fast approaching, and each year it becomes harder to self generate much hope. This world is black and blue; even more than bruised, it is bloody and broken. And there is also the conflict of the struggle against the darkness in ourselves. What remains is that which we have already attempted to repair; the striving and straining that leaves us at the end of our own efforts.
One of the hallmarks of the Benedictine life is Obedience. I guess for all followers of Jesus, as we try to live his instruction to “come, follow me,” obedience is a part of life. Obedience is a fresh daily choice, even for those of us that have taken life-long vows of obedience to in a monastic community.
by Sr Nunother
Driving through Oklahoma this week, I was privileged to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the site where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed in 1995. I was only 12 years old when this tragedy took place, and though I remember hearing about the bombing, I wasn’t old enough to understand the scale of this life-changing event. Maybe naivety about what had happened was partly why I found this visit so moving. Walking into this sacred space, I was overcome with emotion. As the guide talked us through the events of the historic day and pointed out the symbolism behind every piece of the beautiful memorial, my eyes quickly filled with tears. I was particularly struck by two pieces of the outdoor memorial that are called the “Gates of Time.” The east and west sides of the memorial are flanked by two large gates; the east wall representing the time 9:01, one minute before the bombing, and the west wall 9:03, one minute after the explosion. The significance of the 9:03 wall caught my attention. It was to show the city and people’s deliberate choice to move forward from this evil act, toward reconciliation, rebuilding, and …..specifically hope. In my normal, far less tragic life, it often takes me days to even want to start to forgive when I feel hurt, let alone the minute after such evil. The overall impact of the memorial was strong in many ways, but one thought that stuck with me was this: I wonder how much good we could do, individually and collectively, if each of us would regularly embrace this hopeful attitude of the 9:03 wall?