NEWSLETTER Spring 2005
Like the eagle,
we were made to fly
into the arms
Dear Friends of Carmel ,
“ One of God’s special arrangements is that, after winter, beautiful Spring days come. It happens every year, and it happens in every life.” (Rev. Joseph McCoy, S.M.) Another nice thing about Spring is Spring house cleaning and finding a weather-beaten 1981 holy card bearing just the right word of inspiration. Indeed, blossom by blossom, and morning by morning, Spring comes.
Before we get into the fact that God is in heaven and how all is right with the world, we want to tell you about our wonderful experience with the eagles this season. We found out where they nested, and took back roads to watch them. The photo above is one of the pictures we took. Needless to say, we found that it is a real trick to take a picture of a camera-shy eagle that prefers flying off into the late afternoon sun.
We learned, from research, that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks. When this happens, the eagle flies to some high spot and waits for the winds to come. When the storm actually does come, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. Now, doesn’t just the thought of this lift your own spirit? But, alas, it now seems that our feathered friends are leaving our area for cooler climates in the north. The fish in the Mississippi River are very happy about this.
Our life here at the monastery has been different since the fall of 2004. In the early part of August, our Sister Mary Teresa, the little Sister from Sydney, Australia, was diagnosed with bile-duct liver cancer. Since then, Sister has been waiting to fly with the eagles to see the face of God, while at the same time very much choosing life in its fullness here below. Because of the need for 24-hour skilled care, on March 1, it was decided to have Sister take up residence at the Kahl Home in Davenport, a nursing facility run by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. This facility is only about twenty minutes from us. Sister Mary Teresa took part in this decision and agreed with it. There were both tears and gladness in the transition. Even though Sister Mary Teresa is only 4 feet, 11- ˝ inches tall, she has always had a big missionary heart. In her new home, it was her plan to bring joy and comfort to those around her. One of the first times we called her, she answered saying : “Carmelite Monastery. May I help you?” To get from our monastery to the Kahl Home, Sister was given a chance to ride the Great River Bend Transit. She loved the ride. Donned in her quaint little gray hat, she took one last look at our beautiful open fields. We do miss her terribly. She will forever be a part of us.
As we glance around our monastery setting, we sense that God wants to bring Spring into the world. The stems on our roses are greening and looking forward to having the winter straw cleared away from their crowns. The willows in the oasis wave their yellow tips in the wind as we pass by, reminding us that “nature’s first green is gold, the hardest hue to hold.” (Robert Frost) And, what about the martins? We keeping looking out the window, hoping they will return. Ever since we expressed displeasure at their building a nest in our oven vent, they have been unhappy with us. Their mode of flight is so beautiful. Watching them does something to the human spirit.
And then, there is the lighting of the Easter fire on Holy Saturday, in the crisp night air under the stars, followed by the procession with lighted candles into the dark of the chapel. Later, all the lights will go on, and the Gloria, with all its bells, will sound out. Dear Friends of Carmel, know that you are with us in all these sacred moments. May reflection on these moments bring much joy and peace to your own heart. Know that we pray for you, every day. One last thing: Whatever you dreamed of doing, begin now. Beginnings are always so beautiful, and this is the perfect season for new beginnings.
Love and Prayers,
Your Carmelite Sisters – Eldridge, Iowa
What goes on in our innermost being is worthy of all our love.