Humility

 

man and the cross art by arild rosenkratz

Art by Arild Rosenkrantz


Humility  is to be still

under the weathers of God’s will.

It is to have no hurt surprise
when morning’s ruddy promise dies,

when wind and drought destroy, or sweet
spring rains apostatize in sleet,

or when the mind and month remark
a superfluity of dark.

It is to have no troubled care
for human weathers anywhere.

And yet it is to take the good
with the warm hands of gratitude.

Humility is to have place
deep in the secret of God’s face

where one can know, past all surmise,
that God’s great will alone is wise,

where one is loved, where one can trust
a strength not circumscribed by dust.

It is to have a place to hide
when all is hurricane outside.

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 


“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
~ Micah 6:8


The Gift of Love

Art by Maria Oosthuizen

Art by Maria Oosthuizen

 

My thoughts of you are fair as precious stones
out of the memory’s deep mysterious mines.
I cut and polish, hold the gems to light—
color of sea water, color of wines
coaxed from the earth’s sweetest fruits.
I drop them down into my heart,
into the lifted hands of love
whose lone concern is your renown.  

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 

Jesus abounds in love

Thank You Father, for the Gift of Your Love!

A Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving Canada!

 

Live in the Light!

 

art by akiane kamarik between my fingers

Between My Fingers, art by Akiane Kramarik

 

Light is a symbol for everything that is good in our lives. God knew we can’t live without light, and therefore the first word he uttered when he, in the beginning, created heaven and earth were: “Let there be light.” And there was light. And God saw that the light was good (Gen 1:3-4).

We see for ourselves that the light is good. That is why we seek it out whenever we can. Unfortunately, we often look in the wrong direction.

Even though God separated the light from darkness on the first day of creation, we often do not see the difference. We confuse the two, seeing light as darkness and darkness as light.

We no longer have clear insights. Things have gone so far that, at times, it is considered a pity to possess clear, unequivocal answers to the questions of life. Some hold that it is a sign of courage to dare living with doubt. Still others stretch tolerance so thin in ethical and religious questions that they no longer see any line between true and false. They think everything is equally good.

Is humanity intent on taking creation back to the original chaos? God has drawn clear lines between light and darkness. But humankind—no longer listening to God—can’t distinguish between day and night, good and evil, left and right.

Yet, the light is there, independent of our confusion, and offers itself to anyone who is open to receive.

~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.

 

 

Let There Be Light

Over the water of the world again
the Spirit broods;
Over the chaos the minds of all
and down the dream-deserted solitudes.

I know His ominous presence, and I hear
His prophecy of flight
over a world of thought at the first clear
and thunderous dismissal of the night.

How shall that burst of radiance be greeted
as, from the black abyss,
the first day wakens when it hears repeated
that cry to light, torn out of Genesis?

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

art by akiane kamarik the reflection

The Reflection, art by Akiane Kramarik

Nature & Grace

 

Varadero Beach2

Varadero beach, by unknown artist

 

I just got back from Varadero, Cuba. My husband and I went for a week’s vacation to the pristine beaches of the Caribbean sea. The resort we stayed at was very close to an ecological reserve and our room was located close to this beautiful gem of nature. Every morning the beautiful birds would be waking us up chirping in the blue sky and lasting all throughout the day like praising the Creator for all his goodness and love.

We saw many kinds of beautiful butterflies and little colourful iguanas among the tall palm trees. What a delight to the eyes and the senses. After breakfast we would walk to the beach and as we approached it, we saw the beautiful crystal clear turquoise sea’s gentle waves washing away the white sand. The view felt like it was taken from a very fine photograph. We felt so blessed to have experienced those days surrounded by God’s beautiful creation in the place we loved the most…the sea.

Sunsets were so amazing diffusing so many different shade of colours in the sky. It was truly a golden hour. As I always say: God indeed is an artist!

We had the amazing opportunity to go in a catamaran to see the dolphins in the open ocean close to the beautiful island of Cayo Blanco. What a surreal experience. I couldn’t contain my tears from flowing as I interacted and swam with these beautiful angels of the sea. It was a long time dream of mine.

And I can’t forget the flowers! They were all so beautiful and full of rich colours shining towards the bright sun. We met amazing people and made new friends. I love Cuban people, they have a beautiful heart.

And the food…was simply amazing! Especially the fruits. They are blessed with so many different varieties of fruits like mangoes, papaya, pineapple and guava; these were among my favourites. We ate a lot of seafood and it was very tasty and so fresh. We loved it!

We are so grateful and thankful for experiencing moments of grace in those blessed days. Those memories will be with us for the rest of our lives. Thank You Lord for the amazing gift of life and your beautiful creation and for meeting new friends. It’s all a blessing.

Thank you for reading! Always take the time to enjoy nature wherever you are and be aware of those moments of grace ❤

 

ABD4E3B9-57A9-4B37-8E18-A725ED27C222

A dream come true! Interacting and swimming with the dolphins near the island of Cayo Blanco, Cuba. (my own photo)

Birds

That God made birds is surely in His favor.
I write them as His courtesies of love.
Hidden in leaves, they offer me sweet savor
of lightsome music; when they streak above
my garden wall they brush my scene with color.

They are embroideries upon the grass.
I write the gayest stitched-in blossoms duller
than birds which change their patterns as I pass.

I nurse a holy envy of St. Francis
who lured the birds to nestle at his breast.
Yet I am grateful for this one which dances
across my lawn, a reckless anapest.

Subjects for gratitude push up my living
praise to a sum that tempts the infinite;
but birds deserve one whole psalm of thanksgiving
and these words are my antiphon for it.

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

Birds of Cuba art

Birds of Cuba, art by Julio Cesar Rodriguez

    

The Blood’s Mystic

Mary Magdalene beautiful art

Mary Magdalene, by unknown artist

 

Grace guards that moment when the spirit halts
to watch the Magdalen
in the mad turbulence that was her love.
Light hallows those who think about her when
she broke through crowds to the Master’s feet
or ran on Easter morning,
her hair wind-tumbled and her cloak awry.
What to her need were the restrictions of
earth’s vain formalities?
She sought, as love so often seeks and finds,
a Radiance that died or seemed to die.

One can surmise she went to Calvary
distraught and weeping, and with loud lament
clung to the cross and beat upon its wood
till Christ’s torn veins spread a soft covering
over her hair and face and colored gown.
She took her First Communion in His Blood.

O the tumultuous Magdalen! But those 
who come upon her in the hush of love
claim the last graces. A wild parakeet
ceded its being to a mourning dove,
as Bethany had prophesied. We give 
to Old Provence that solitude’s location
where her love brooded, too contemplative
to lift the brief distraction of a wing.
There she became a living consecration
to one remembering.

Magdalen, first to drink the fountained Christ
Whose crimson-signing stills our creature stir,
is the Blood’s mystic. Was it not the weight
of the warm Blood that slowed and silenced her?

 

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

the tears of amry magdalene

The Tears of Mary Magdalene, art by Philippe De Champaigne (1656)

 


“Most of all I imitate the behavior of Mary Magdalene, for her amazing – or, rather, loving – audacity which delighted the heart of Jesus, has cast its spell upon mine.”
– St. Therese of Lisieux, O.C.D.





Wishing all of you a very blessed feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene!
Saint Mary of Magdala, apostle of the apostles, ora pro nobis!

 

Night Prayer: To The Prophet Elijah

Prophet Elias

Prophet Elijah ~ Encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai – VII century

 

This is the edge of time; this cliff encounters
the valleys of the measureless unknown
and the great surges of those outer seas
where swim Orion and the Pleiades.
I like to come here in the night alone.

I like to seek this arched and alien window,
lean into night and lift my restless love
to pastures where an ancient prophet tethered
horses of fire. I cry, “My father, my father,
the chariot of Israel and the driver thereof!”

Where dwells this lonely eremite I know not,
hid by what torrent, by what ravens fed;
but when the moon suggests his solitude,
my mind has taste of an unearthly food;
where the night shines, my heart is visited.

He who has swept by fire to time’s suspension,
yet to be slain and in the judgement tried—
is he not closer to our human pity
than those who triumph in a lasting city,
the far impassible beatified?

Here I touch space that borders the eternal;
here, undistracted by the clock’s poor  rhyme,
I stand, an emigrant of earth whose place
is nearer heaven, being near to grace,
and hold my heart out, over the sill of time.

 

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

Grotto of St Elijah

Interior of the Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa, Israel. It is the largest Carmelite Monastery and world center of the Order, built on the site of earlier churches and monasteries of the Byzantine and Crusader periods. The Church was built over a cave associated with the prophets Elijah and Elisha. (Photo credit to Rafael Gomez)

 

Stella Maris

The cave of Saint Elijah is a grotto written about in the Hebrew Bible, where the prophet Elijah took shelter during a journey into the wilderness (1 Kings 19:8). Photo taken by me during my pilgrimage to Israel in October 2010.

 

candles at the grotto

Inside St. Elijah’s grotto … Four candles lit by me ❤ prayers offered for my family and for others intentions. Photo taken by me.

 

Wishing all of you a very blessed feast day of Saint Elijah, Leader and Father of Carmelites! 

Holy Prophet Elijah, ora pro nobis!

Like The Bright Seraphim

under is wings2

In The Shadow of Your Wings, art by Daniel F. Gerhartz

 

Like your bright brothers seraphim
who veil their faces with their wings,
you hide your face, and yet I know
that when the pinions stir and blow
you peer at God and me and things.

I love those glances of your soul,
so shyly sent. I stand aside and watch,
with deeper pleasurings,
the hidden face behind the wings,
a Sanctus waiting to be cried.

Ah, guard this native secrecy!
Know, child: those angels chief in grace
who stir when Splendor breathes His name
and wake and slumber in His flame
alone use wings to hide their face.

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 

Gift and Witness

 


If only you knew the gift of God. ~ John 4:10


 

blue jay

Photo credit to Jeffry Westerhoff

 

We bear a tremendous responsibility for one another.
Each of us is a minister of Christ.
Each of us has to witness to him.
Everything we do, say, or even think has either a positive
or negative effect on others.

Nothing is neutral.
Bad example, carelessness about faults, lack of charity;
all these things effect the purity and love of a community.
And following from that weaken the charity of the whole Church.

St Paul entreats us no to trifle with the precious grace of God.
This grace, which is nothing less than God offering himself is available now.
Now is the acceptable time,
Now is the significant time.

If we had a lively faith, grasped this fact, we would indeed give no offence —
put no obstacle in another’s way.

Do not trifle  with the precious gift of God.

~ A Meditation by Ruth Burrows, O.C.D.

 

friends by the water

Photo source unknown

 

For a Proud Friend, Humbled

In that least place to which all mercies come
I find you now, settled in peace, at home,
poor little one of Yahweh.

On your face only response of love lies,
with no trace
or drifting hint of what had brought you low.

Down steps of like unworthiness I go
weighted with heart (and how heart can oppress!)
to see you humbled into gentleness
(and into innocence) so utterly.

Pray me, my blessed, into your company.

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 

 

A Heart of Compassion

 


“Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.”  ~ Luke 6:36


 

Jesus and me by unknown artist 2

Artist Unknown

 

God is the author of all tender-heartedness and goodness.

Misericors — a heart always inclined to another in compassion, a pitiful heart. A heart that is always good — that is, wishing good to another. Wherever we meet these qualities, there, we can be sure, is God.

We have to be perfect as our Father is perfect, and especially as he is perfect in these qualities.

Let me look at my heart. Is it unfailingly tender towards others? Unfailingly bent on their good? Or do I see that there is a lot of hardness there?

Am I perhaps kind to some, but not to others? Kind at sometimes but not always? Not when I am upset, put-out, hurt . . . ? Do I wish well to others only when their good doesn’t conflict with what I think is mine?

God is the fount of tender-heartedness and goodness. Ask him for the grace to drink deeply of this fountain. Want these God-like qualities with all your heart. Seize the opportunities each day offers to exercise them, no matter how much it costs pride and self-interest.

~ A Meditation by Ruth Burrows, ‘Living Love” ~ O.C.D.

 

Sacred Heart of Jesus burning in love for us

Sacred Heart of Jesus, burning for love of us, inflame our hearts for love of Thee. . .


The Kingdom of God

Not towards the stars, O beautiful naked runner,
not on the hills of the moon after a wild white deer,
seek not to discover afar the unspeakable wisdom,—
the quarry is here.

Beauty holds court within,—
a slim young virgin in a dim shadowy place.
Music is only the echo of her voice,
and earth is only a mirror for her face.

Not in the quiet arms, O sorrowful lover;
O fugitive, not in the dark on a pillow of breast;
hunt not under the lighted leaves for God,—
here is the sacred Guest.

There is a Tenant here.
Come home, roamer of earth, to this room and find
a timeless Heart under your own heart beating,
a Bird of beauty singing under your mind.

 

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 

Ministering Spirits

 

angel show me the way

Show Me The way, art by J. Kirk Richards


Never go anywhere without the angels

who watch God’s face and listen to be sought.
Greater than you, yet they have joy to serve you.
Never go blundering through the jungle, thought,
without a clear-eyed one to part the branches,
shout snake or swamp-hole, cry a rock beware.
The angels of the Lord encamp around you
in any place you pitch your tents for prayer.

Know that your soul takes radiance from the angels.
She glories in these creatures of her kind
and sees herself thus lightsome, free as wind.
She stands abashed when the flesh rudely brings
its homage to these pure intelligences
and tries to crowd their beauty into bodies
and weight their grace with gravity of wings.

 

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.  

 


“If we detect an angel by the effect he is producing, let us hasten to pray since our heavenly guardian has come to join us.”
~ St. John Climacus